Garamendi Praises Senate for Pushing Forward with Extension of Unemployment Insurance, Calls for Immediate Action in House
WASHINGTON, DC – Arriving in Washington after a busy day in the 3rd District, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) was greeted with the good news that the U.S. Senate this morning voted to allow a a three-month extension of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed to move forward. The extension, which expired after Congress failed to vote on a fix before the winter recess, helps 1.3 million Americans secure basic necessities as they search for a job in a still difficult economy.
Six Republicans joined a unanimous Democratic delegation in preventing a filibuster of the needed legislation. 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. Despite the clear need for an extension, Speaker Boehner and House Republican leadership, who control the House floor schedule, have thus far refused to allow the House to vote for an extension.
“Denying this vital lifeline to America’s long term unemployed is cruel and fiscally unwise. The economy has improved since the dark days of the Great Recession, but the job market is still very tough,” Congressman Garamendi said.
“Congress should be focused on shaping an economy that sustains robust job creation, which requires investments in education, research, infrastructure, and manufacturing,” he added. “In the meantime, the unemployment insurance extension is one of the only things preventing many American families from homelessness, hunger, and absolute destitution. The House must act to restore these benefits and must do so immediately.”
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