Jobless Benefit Extension Passes Key Hurdle in Senate

A bill to extend federal unemployment insurance benefits for an estimated 1.3 million jobless Americans has passed a critical test vote in the Senate.

Six Republicans joined 54 Democrats in meeting the 60-vote threshold needed for the Senate to begin full consideration of the bill.

The pending legislation would extend the emergency unemployment compensation program for three months, as well as provide backpay for the more than one million jobless who lost their benefits when Congress failed to grant an extension by December 28, 2013.

Albeit good news, the next steps for the legislation are uncertain, reads a recent USA Today article.

“The Senate still has to pass the bill, and it faces considerable opposition in the GOP-controlled House, where Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said he could consider an extension if the cost is offset by budget cuts elsewhere,” reads the report.

Allowing unemployment benefits to expire for folks who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own is hurting the jobless, their families, as well as the struggling economy. A recent report from Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee shows states have already lost $400 million in economic activity in one week because Congress let benefits expire.

A rally has been planned for Wednesday, January 8, 2014, outside the House Visitors Center, Room 215, in Washington, DC, at 11:30 am. All supporters who can make it are encouraged to attend.

Take action now by clicking here. Send your Senators and Representative a letter telling them to extend federal unemployment benefits today.