Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Conyers: Congress Must Extend Unemployment Benefits Immediately

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) released the following statement after the U.S. Senate’s passage of a five-month extension of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits by a vote of 59-38:

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
"By extending emergency unemployment insurance, the U.S. Senate has done what’s right for struggling Americans and the U.S. economy as a whole. House GOP leaders’ refusal to even allow a vote on UI is destroying lives and damaging our economic recovery. The House must renew UI immediately,” said Conyers.

“With tens of millions of Americans looking for full-time living-wage work and just one job opening for every three applicants, unemployment remains a national emergency. Failing to extend unemployment insurance means people losing their homes through foreclosure, going without food on the table, and suffering horrendous anxiety.

More than two million Americans have lost their UI benefits since they expired at the end of last year. This includes 106,200 people in Michigan. Until the House takes action, 72,000 people will lose benefits each week.

“Unemployment insurance is not a hand-out. Americans have purchased unemployment insurance through payroll taxes, but Republicans in Congress are denying them what is rightfully theirs.

“This is about helping struggling Americans and strengthening the overall economy.  An extension of unemployment insurance would boost consumer demand, leading to an estimated additional 200,000 jobs in the coming year.  When unemployed Americans receive income, they spend it. When they can go out and purchase their necessities, they boost the economy and promote job-creation. All this boosts tax revenue and reduces deficits. It should be no surprise that, for every $1 spent on safety net programs like UI, there’s an additional $2 in economic growth. The House must renew UI immediately.” 

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