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Al Green and Sheila Jackson Lee think Unemployment Extension a Good Thing

Congressman Al Green Says Extending Unemployment Benefits Is Crucial Due to the Critical Financial Situation of Millions of Americans

Washington (DC) July 23, 2010- the House of Representatives passed the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010 (H.R. 4213) by a vote of 272-152. Congressman Al Green (TX-09) said extending these benefits “is crucial due to the critical financial situation of millions of Americans who have not been able to find a job because of the fragility of a labor market which is still suffering the repercussions of the historical economic crisis that started at the end of 2008.”

The bill authorizes states to provide retroactive support to an estimated 2.5 million people whose unemployment checks have been cut off since federal benefits expired June 2. It also makes available up to 99 weeks of income support through the end of November to millions more who have exhausted state benefits.

“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. We are still working to overcome the worst economic crisis our country has faced since the Great Depression and there are millions of families who depend on these benefits for essentials, such as housing, transportation, and clothing. This support will also help many of these families in their efforts to secure employment,” said the Congressman.

With the jobless rate at 9.5 percent and 14.6 million unemployed Americans, the United States is currently dealing with the highest levels of long-term unemployment since the government began keeping track in the 1940’s.

“This assistance will have a double beneficial effect. It will allow these families to pay their bills, and provide a much needed monetary safety net for necessities, which when spent will help stimulate our economy. This is a lifeline for the millions of fellow citizens who are still struggling,” concluded Congressman Al Green.

Unemployment Compensation Bill Finally Passes House Says Congress Woman Sheila Jackson Lee:

“If there is a single federal program that is absolutely critical to people in Houston, Texas and the rest of the nation, it is unemployment compensation benefits. To not extend these benefits to the American people is a breach of trust with them.”

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee senior member of the Foreign Affairs and Judiciary Committees, and Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection, breathed a sigh of relief today as the House was finally able to pass the bill to restore unemployment compensation benefits to 2.5 million Americans who lost their benefits last month and are still seeking work in this challenged economy. Calling the bill “emergency legislation,” Congresswoman Jackson Lee said, “It will give hope to the long-term unemployed and allow them a chance to survive by extending their benefits to November 30th, 2010.”

Congresswoman Jackson Lee stated, “If there is a single federal program that is absolutely critical to people in the communities of Houston, Texas and the rest of the nation, it is unemployment compensation benefits. With their personal and family savings exhausted and 401(Ks) tapped, many individuals and families are desperate for some type of financial assistance until the economy improves and additional jobs are created. The extension of unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed is an emergency. Congresswoman Jackson Lee said, “While it took the hard work of many in Congress to pass this legislation, I can assure the citizens of Houston and the state of Texas that, whenever there are human needs to be met, I will be fighting to ensure they are satisfied. Congresswoman Jackson Lee pursued the passage of this legislation through meetings with leadership, letters and debate on the floor of the House.

Further Jackson Lee stated, “Until the economy begins to create more jobs at a much faster pace, and the various government stimulus programs continue to accelerate project activity in local communities, we can not ignore the needs of 2.5 million individuals and their families. The bill restores unemployment compensation benefits, retroactively from June 2, 2010.”

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