on Extending Unemployment Insurance'
D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following
statement today on the Republican refusal to extend unemployment
benefits set to expire at Christmas:
year, the Republican majority said, bah humbug to laid-off
workers and allowed unemployment benefits to expire at Christmas
time. That left millions of families with no way to put food on
their tables, pay their bills, or pay for their health care. All
that these families received from the Republican-led Congress was
a lump of coal.
holiday season is bringing more of the same bad economic news to
millions of jobless workers:
- Nearly nine
million Americans are unemployed;
- Two million
workers have been unemployed for more than six months; and
- 1.4 million
workers have exhausted their unemployment benefits but still have
not found work.
almost inconceivable to me that Republican leaders are poised to
play the Grinch again. Two days after Christmas, the current extended
unemployment benefits program is scheduled to expire - denying benefits
to nearly 90,000 workers every week thereafter. Over six months,
this will affect almost 2.2 million Americans.
many families, unemployment benefits are about survival. They are
never about luxury. It is about whether kids go to bed hungry, not
about whether Christmas dinner is catered.
Democrats are fighting for American workers. Led by my colleague
Congresswoman Darlene Hooley, House Democrats launched a discharge
petition to force Republicans to take up the Democratic plan to
extend unemployment benefits before we adjourn for the year.
plan, put forward by Congressmen Charlie Rangel and Ben Cardin,
would continue the extended benefits program for an additional six
months, increase the time that unemployed workers can get benefits
from 13 to 26 weeks, and provide unemployment benefits to 1.4 million
workers who have already exhausted their federal extended benefits.
plan addresses the needs of American families who are suffering.
Unemployed workers often have no choice but to spend their savings,
including too many who have lost their health insurance.
plan addresses the needs of the American economy. There is no better
way to boost the economy. Families will spend this money right away
on necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, and medical care.
Each dollar spent on unemployment benefits will boost the economy
by $1.73. What a great investment for the federal government.
unemployment benefits is good for families and it is good for the
economy. We must not leave for the holidays by leaving American
workers out in the cold.