Congressman Garamendi Deeply Disappointed that House Failed to Act on Unemployment Insurance During First Session of 2014
Thousands of 3rd District Residents Don’t Know How They’ll Support their Families
WASHINGTON, DC – When it became clear that 1.3 million Americans, including thousands of 3rd District residents, would suddenly lose their unemployment insurance on December 28th, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) repeatedly urged swift action in the House of Representatives to restore the unemployment insurance extension until the economy was on a more solid footing.
Since December 28th, an additional 200,000 Americans have lost their unemployment coverage. The House, with a vote schedule controlled by Speaker Boehner and the Republican majority leadership, just wrapped up its first session and failed to restore unemployment insurance. Another 100,000 Americans will lose this vital lifeline before January 28th.
Congressman Garamendi, along with 114 other Members of Congress, sent a letter to Speaker Boehner urging him to delay the district recess until an unemployment insurance extension is voted on.
“There are legitimate policy discussions to be had about exactly how we should extend federal unemployment insurance, but we cannot find common ground when the House of Representatives is not in session and when this legislation is not even being considered in the House. The clock is ticking,” the Members wrote. “This is why we urge you to cancel the pending district work period and keep the House of Representatives in session until both the House and Senate have sent legislation to the President to extend emergency federal unemployment benefits.”
Garamendi also joins 163 other Members of Congress in cosponsoring the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act (H.R. 3824), which would extend emergency unemployment insurance for three months to give Congress an opportunity to develop a longer term solution.
“I can’t force a vote, but I can force a conversation. The letters and calls my office is getting from constituents who don’t know how they’re going to feed their families, who don’t know how they’re going to pay their rent, are heartbreaking,” said Congressman Garamendi. “We need a comprehensive jobs plan in America, and we need it now. Until then, so long as there are three jobseekers for every job available in America, we must continue with the unemployment insurance extension.”
Congressman Garamendi supports a comprehensive jobs plan to revitalize America’s economy as we deal with the aftershocks of the Great Recession that began in 2007. He believes it is important for Congress to invest in education, research, infrastructure (including transportation priorities, clean energy, systems that increase available water, and Internet technology), and domestic manufacturing. He is a leading voice in Congress for Make It In America policies that prioritize public investments that utilize American-made goods and equipment.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that a one-year extension of unemployment insurance would create 200 thousand jobs because these funds are quickly spent by recipients just to get by.
Critics of the extension argue that it discourages workers from seeking jobs, but there’s little to no evidence to support this claim. In America today, there are about 2.9 unemployed workers for every job opening.
On December 28th, nearly 213,793 people in California lost their Unemployment Insurance according to the California Employment Development Department. The following is a breakdown of the number of people who have lost this support in each county that Congressman Garamendi represents (click here for a list of all counties in the state):
- Colusa – 244
- Glenn – 184
- Lake – 454
- Sacramento – 8,599
- Solano – 2,640
- Sutter – 687
- Yolo – 864
- Yuba – 545