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Rep. John Lewis Hails Senate Bipartisan Action to Extend Unemployment Insurance

April 8, 2014
Press Release

Calls on House to Pass Emergency Unemployment Insurance for Nearly 3 Million Americans               


Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. John Lewis commended Senate bipartisan action on legislation to extend unemployment insurance for nearly 3 million Americans, and called on the House to follow suit.  The Senate passed the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act by a vote of 59 to 38, which retroactively extends emergency unemployment insurance through the end of May.

                “Bipartisan action in the Senate on unemployment insurance is a crucial step for economic security for those who have lost their jobs.  By the end of this month over 85,000 Georgians, including over 43,000 children will be impacted.  Because the House has failed to act, more than 2 million Americans are struggling to make ends meet with no end in sight, costing Georgia's economy  alone over $110 million dollars,” said Rep. Lewis.

                “Speaker Boehner and House Republicans must listen to their constituents who are searching for an economic lifeline so they can support their families and pay their bills while they look for a new job.  I have joined with 192 of my Democratic colleagues in signing a petition to hold a vote in the House on extending unemployment insurance.”

                The bipartisan Senate agreement would:

·        Retroactively restore emergency unemployment insurance for five months;

·        Exclude millionaires from receiving emergency unemployment insurance;

·        Strengthen efforts to help get job seekers back into the workforce;

·        Be fully paid for with pension smoothing and extending fees on U.S. customs users through 2024.

                Despite the jobs crisis in America, House Republicans have blocked multiple efforts by Democrats to bring up legislation to extend unemployment insurance on the House floor for more than three months.  To overcome this opposition, 193 House Democrats have signed a discharge petition to force action on this widely supported legislation.  The discharge petition will require the House to bring unemployment insurance extension legislation up for a vote once a majority of Members of Congress (218) have signed it.