04.08.14

Senator Tammy Baldwin Votes to Extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation

Over 46,000 Wisconsinites Already Impacted by Expiration of Unemployment Insurance

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin last night voted in support of the bipartisan Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension bill. The bill passed the Senate 59-38 and now heads to the House of Representatives.
 
“Since the end of December, over 46,000 Wisconsinites have lost this critical lifeline and over $75 million has been drained from Wisconsin’s economy,” said Baldwin.  “It was long past time to extend this critical lifeline to help struggling Americans as they look for work. I’m proud to support this bipartisan effort to strengthen our economy and encourage the House of Representatives to stop playing games and do the right thing for the hardworking American people who have lost their jobs and are trying so hard to find new ones.”
 
The Reed-Heller bipartisan compromise is fully paid for and will strengthen the U.S. economy while providing vulnerable job seekers and their families with a vital lifeline as they continue to look for work. It reauthorizes Emergency Unemployment Insurance benefits for five months and allows for retroactive payments to eligible beneficiaries going back to December 28th. The bill is also projected to benefit nearly 270,000 veterans looking for work, including 5,489 Wisconsin veterans.
 
Approximately 1.3 million workers, including 23,700 Wisconsinites, lost all unemployment benefits when Congress failed to act before the end of December. Without action by the House of Representatives, approximately 1,608 Wisconsinites lose their benefits every week. A recent report released by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee shows that more than four million Americans, 37 percent of the unemployed, have been out of work for more than six months, making long-term unemployment one of the most significant challenges of the economic recovery.
 
In 2014, 99,000 Wisconsinites are projected to be affected if Emergency Unemployment Compensation is not extended by the Republican controlled House of Representatives.  Failure to extend these benefits also directly impacts state and local economies.
 
In addition, a House Ways and Means Committee analysis projected that the expiration of federal unemployment benefits cost the economy nearly $5 billion in the first quarter of 2014, including over $75 million in Wisconsin.