Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rep. McCotter Co-Sponsors Unemployment Benefits Extension Bill

Bipartisan Effort Would Help Over 3 Million Jobless Americans

WASHINGTON D.C. - Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, (R-MI-11), House Republican Policy Chairman, co-sponsored H.R. 5749,  Emergency Extended Unemployment Compensation Act, which extends unemployment benefits to help the American people weather the current economic downturn.

“We in Michigan have been suffering a one state depression.  Now, with the national economic outlook clouding, it is ever more imperative to help our workers through these difficult times,” said McCotter. 

“This bi-partisan legislation will extend vital unemployment benefits to temporarily unemployed workers, who are clinging to their American dream and desperately seeking opportunities in our state.”

The legislation would extend the 26 weeks of unemployment benefits by 13 weeks. It also provides states with higher unemployment, like Michigan, an additional 13 weeks (26 weeks total) of extended benefits.

During the last three months, the US economy has shed 232,000 jobs. The national unemployment currently sits at 5.1 percent and is expected to rise due to the sluggish economy. Michigan has an above average unemployment rate of 7.2 percent.

If passed H.R. 5749, Emergency Extended Unemployment Compensation Act would:

*Immediately provide up to 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits in every State. 

*Provide an additional 13 weeks (for a total of 26) in States with high unemployment (six percent or higher)

*Be financed by the federal unemployment trust funds, which now have more than enough reserves to cover the cost.

The legislation was introduced earlier this month by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Rep. Phil English (R-PA).

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