NJ Democrats Call On House Speaker To Address Unemployment Program Before Adjourning

House Speaker John Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner

WASHINGTON, D.C. – New Jersey’s six Democratic congressmen joined 160 House colleagues today in a letter urging Republican Speaker John Boehner not to adjourn the House for the year without bringing up an extension of federal unemployment insurance, which is scheduled to expire Dec. 28.

If federal unemployment insurance expires, it will immediately cut off benefit payments to 1.3 million Americans, with an additional 1.9 million Americans who would lose eligibility for coverage in the first half of 2014.

In New Jersey, it means more than 90,300 people will cease to receive unemployment insurance almost immediately, with an additional 89,100 losing such benefits in the first six months of 2014.

“Even with the progress our economy has seen since the depths of the recession, there are still 1.3 million fewer jobs today than when the recession started six years ago,” the letter said. “Additionally, approximately 4 million Americans are considered long-term unemployed, and have been looking for work for more than six months. Now is certainly not the time to further decimate vital federal assistance to workers who have lost their job through no fault of their own and who must actively seek work in order to be eligible for unemployment benefits.   We therefore strongly urge you to immediately bring up a one-year extension of the current [Emergency Unemployment Compensation] program.”

New Jersey Representatives Robert Andrews (1), Frank Pallone Jr. (6), Albio Sires (8), Bill Pascrell Jr. (9), Donald Payne Jr. (10) and Rush Hold (12) signed the letter.

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