October 20, 2009

CARDIN, DEMOCRATIC SENATORS URGE SWIFT PASSAGE OF UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS EXTENSION

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), along with 13 fellow Democratic Senators today called on Senate Republicans to stop playing politics and immediately help pass legislation that will provide relief to jobless workers by extending unemployment insurance for the nearly 2 million Americans who will exhaust their benefits by the end of the year.  The pending bill would extend unemployment insurance by up to 14 additional weeks for jobless workers in all states and up to 20 weeks in hard-hit states with unemployment levels at or above 8.5 percent.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, this extension would be fully offset.  Every $1 spent on unemployment benefits has been found to generate $1.61 in new economic demand.
 
"Families are hurting. In every region of every state, there are people who cannot find jobs today. Minorities are being hit even harder. Extending unemployment benefits is the right thing to do for those who can't find employment and for our economy. We have to pass this now. There should be no obstacles put in the way of passing this bill promptly," said Senator Cardin.
 
7.6 million Americans have lost their jobs and the deficit has grown massively since the recession began under President Bush in 2007.  Now, hundreds of thousands of Americans have exhausted unemployment insurance benefits and another million are expected to exhaust these benefits by the end of this year.
 
Despite the urgent economic imperative, Republicans have held up the bill for nearly two weeks by offering amendments that have nothing to do with helping the unemployed.