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House Votes to Extend Unemployment Lifeline

By Brian Washington

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to throw a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of American workers hit hard by what some refer to as “The Great Recession.”

The House passed the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act 0f 2009 on a 331-to-83 vote last week.  The bill would extend unemployment insurance for 13 weeks to those who are about to exhaust their benefits in certain states.

“Though there are positive signs that the economy is on the right track…workers are still struggling to find jobs, and we must make sure they have the support they need,” said Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL), who supported the bill. “Extending unemployment benefits is a common-sense solution that will give a quick boost to…while providing immediate relief to struggling families.”

“By extending unemployment benefits, individuals and families will have the support they need as they try to find a job in this difficult economy,” said Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL).  “In addition, extending these benefits means that the money will be injected directly into our local economy, as families can use this money to purchase the things they need from area businesses.”

“With the highest unemployment rate in the country, there’s no question an extension is critical for Michigan,” said Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI).  “An unemployment extension will help Michigan businesses and all of us by injecting billions into our economy.”

H. R. 3548 would extend benefits in 27 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico where jobless rates are higher than 8.5 percent. 
You can check how your representative voted by clicking here.

The national unemployment rate has reached 9.7 percent and is expected to hit 10 percent within the coming months.   Experts estimate that by the end of the year more than 1 million workers will lose their unemployment insurance benefits.

The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate for approval.


Find out how your representative voted on the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2009