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NELP: Unemployed Americans Breathe a Sigh of Relief

House Vote Will Prevent 2.8 Million Jobless Americans from Losing Unemployment Insurance over Next Two Months


By: National Employment Law Project (NELP)

December 22, 2011 - Statement of Christine Owens, Executive Director, National Employment Law Project:

"The House GOP's parliamentary gamesmanship created needless anxiety for millions of long-term unemployed Americans who count on unemployment insurance as a critical lifeline for survival.

"Unemployed Americans around the nation are relieved that House leaders have finally relented and approved a two-month extension. The modest benefits this extension sustains will not transform the holidays into a bounty of riches for unemployed workers, but at least they will ensure that workers are able to celebrate the holidays with their families with some small measure of security.

"When Congress returns, it should quickly turn to the task of approving a longer-term renewal of federal unemployment insurance, absent the unnecessary, demeaning and burdensome conditions and restrictions on both unemployed workers and state agencies that the House has previously proposed. And most important of all, Congress and the President should devote their time and attention to rebuilding America's economy with good jobs for all who want and need to work."

New analysis released by the National Employment Law Project details the devastating consequences the long-term unemployed would have faced had the House of Representatives allowed the federal unemployment insurance programs to lapse. As NELP explains, more than 2.8 million workers would have lost benefits by the end of February, including up to 1.8 million workers in January and approximately 1.1 million additional workers in February.


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