Payne and Freshman House Democrats Call on Speaker Boehner for Immediate Vote to Extend Unemployment Insurance

Jan 9, 2014 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Local Issues
Washington, D.C.  – Today, Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) and 48 other Freshman House Democrats, led by Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), urged Speaker of the House John Boehner (OH-8) to schedule an immediate up-or-down vote to extend emergency unemployment insurance for 1.3 million Americans who lost their benefits due to congressional inaction at the end of the year.
 
“Mr. Speaker, our constituents elected us to Congress to govern. The American people deserve an immediate vote to extend unemployment insurance benefits. Congress – and our economy – cannot afford to sit idle as so many Americans desperately wait for us to act,” the letter continues.
 
“More than 90,000 New Jerseyans lost their unemployment insurance on December 28th, and more than 89,000 additional people in New Jersey will lose this vital lifeline in the first half of 2014,” said Rep. Payne, Jr. “It is critical that these benefits are extended in the short- term for those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own so that they can continue to look for gainful employment, which in the long-term benefits New Jersey families and our economy.”
 
Last week alone, after Congress let benefits expire on Dec. 28th, $400 million was drained from state economies due to the lapse in federal unemployment insurance, according to a new study.
 
A copy of the letter to Speaker Boehner is attached and below.
 
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January 9, 2014
 
Hon. John A. Boehner
Speaker of the House
U.S. House of Representatives
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
 
Dear Speaker Boehner,
 
As members of the freshman class, we are writing to request an immediate, up-or-down vote to extend long-term unemployment insurance for 1.3 million Americans.
Our constituents elected us to Congress to tackle the critical issues facing the country. One of the largest issues confronting our economy and families now is the recent expiration of long-term unemployment insurance for 1.3 million Americans. It’s time for Congress to govern and act and not leave these people behind.
 
It is unconscionable that Congress would fail to extend unemployment benefits to over a million long-term unemployed Americans who continue to look for work. Unfortunately, Congress’ continued failure to immediately extend these benefits is also harming our economic recovery. 
 
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, extending unemployment benefits would actually boost GDP and increase full-time employment. Conversely, failing to act will continue to hinder our economic recovery. In addition, failing to act now means millions of long-term unemployed Americans will continue to face significant hardships as they are trying to get back on their feet and into the workforce.
 
Simply, Congress’ failure to extend long-term unemployment benefits is poor economic policy and a devastating blow to families who continue to struggle. For these reasons, it is time for the House of Representatives to act. The Senate has already begun consideration to extend long-term unemployment benefits. The House should as well– without further delay.
 
Mr. Speaker, our constituents elected us to Congress to govern. The American people deserve an immediate vote to extend unemployment insurance benefits. Congress – and our economy – cannot afford to sit idle as so many Americans desperately wait for us to act.
 
Sincerely yours,
 
Dan Kildee (MI-05)
Patrick E. Murphy (FL-18) 
Donald M. Payne Jr. (NJ-10)
Grace Meng (NY-06) 
Robin Kelly (IL-02)
Denny Heck (WA-10) 
Marc Veasey (TX-33)
Steven Horsford (NV-04) 
Joyce Beatty (OH-03)
Julia Brownley (CA-26)
Juan Vargas (CA-51)
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01)
Lois Frankel (FL-22)
Joe Garcia (FL-26)
Katherine Clark (MA-05)
Mark Pocan (WI-02)
Derek Kilmer (WA-06)
Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Elizabeth Esty (CT-05)
Beto O’Rourke (TX-16)
Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08)
Jared Huffman (CA-02)
Matt Cartwright (PA-17)
Tony Cárdenas (CA-29)
Rick M. Nolan (MN-08)
Joseph P. Kennedy III (MA-04)
Suzan K. Delbene (WA-01)
Gloria Negrete Mcleod (CA-35)
Ann Mclane Kuster (NH-02)
Dan Maffei (NY-24)
Ami Bera (CA-07)
Alan Lowenthal (CA-47)
Tammy Duckworth (IL-08)
Raul Ruiz (CA-36)
Brad Schneider (IL-10)
Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01)
John Delaney (MD-06)
Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18)
Scott Peters (CA-52)
Eric Swalwell (CA-15)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)
Alan Grayson (FL-09)
Mark Takano (CA-41)
Bill Foster (IL-11)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
William L. Enyart (IL-12)
Joaquin Castro (TX-20)
Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)
Pete P. Gallego (TX-23)
 
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