The Senate reached cloture today on extending unemployment insurance for the 1.3 million jobless workers who were left out in the cold this holiday season by House Republicans who did not renew the emergency jobless benefits before the end of the year.
The Senate took an important step to assist those still searching for work when it cleared the way for a temporary unemployment benefits bill.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said:
Unemployment insurance serves as a lifeline for millions of jobless Americans and their families. For many job seekers, unemployment benefits are the difference between total hopelessness and a place to live and food on the table.
The urgent business before us now is fixing what’s wrong with our economy. Maintaining the unemployment benefits program won’t just keep families out of crisis. It helps to spur the economy and keep it growing.
This inaction for workers is costing the U.S. economy at least $600 million a week.
The Senate should quickly act to pass this bill and the House must act immediately. Further failure will mean more than 3 million more qualified people who will be denied extended benefits. Millions of Americans counting on unemployment insurance to help them through tough times are counting on the House to do the right thing. We cannot afford to leave any working families behind.