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Bonamici Joins President Obama in Pushing for Extension of Emergency Unemployment Compensation

January 7, 2014
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) today released the following statement on the need for Congress to extend emergency unemployment compensation.

About 1.3 million Americans, including nearly 18,000 Oregonians, lost their unemployment assistance at the end of December because Congress has not extended the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program. Additionally, if the program is not extended about 5 million more Americans will not get benefits in 2014.

EUC is a temporary federal program that provides additional unemployment insurance to jobless workers in times of economic recession to relieve hardship for families when jobs are difficult to find and to spur the economy.

“Although the economy is gradually recovering from the Great Recession, there are still too many unemployed Americans, including thousands in Oregon. Emergency unemployment should be phased out as the economy recovers and the need decreases; it should not end abruptly for so many who need assistance while still looking for employment.

“Ending emergency unemployment is not only hard on families; it’s also bad economic policy. Emergency unemployment benefits are typically spent on rent, groceries, and other immediate needs and services. When benefits expire, so did those expenditures. In the first week after EUC benefits expired, the Oregon economy lost millions of dollars. According to the Congressional Budget Office, in 2014 the expiration of unemployment insurance will cost the U.S. economy an additional 200,000 jobs.

“I join President Obama and those directly affected by the expiration of unemployment benefits in calling on the leadership of the House of Representatives to immediately reinstate this lifeline for millions of Americans still looking for work. We must act now to keep the economy on a trajectory of recovery and prevent millions of Americans from slipping into poverty.”