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Senate May Again Debate Unemployment Insurance
No Action on Job-Creation Measures
(Washington, D.C.) – The U.S. Senate may soon revisit the question of emergency unemployment benefits, nearly 3 months after allowing these benefits to expire. While millions of Americans who are unable to find work in the current economy are generally eligible for 26 weeks of unemployment benefits, this legislation would extend that for an additional 47 weeks. The Senate Majority Leader has previously not allowed an open debate on this proposal, including amendments to pass this proposal without adding to the already staggering $17 trillion debt.
Long-term unemployment is a very real problem facing the nation. Since the previous emergency extension expired in December, nearly 2 million people have exhausted their standard unemployment benefits. Despite rhetoric about a weak economy, there has been no debate about major job-creation initiatives.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
"The Senate leadership continues to be more interested in playing politics with the millions of Americans unable to find work than it is in taking real action to help them. The refusal to allow Senators to offer proposals that extend unemployment benefits without adding to the debt is yet one more cynical example. If the Senate can't even hold an open debate on unemployment in the midst of an economic crisis, how can it be trusted to truly look out for the interests of the American people?
Washington needs to stop playing political games and discuss serious proposals to jump-start economic growth and unleash the private sector. Unemployed Americans need jobs, and the Senate can help by beginning to control spending, rein in excess regulation, and allow America's entrepreneurs to grow and succeed."