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This morning, EPI Vice President Ross Eisenbrey issued the following statement on pending legislation to extend unemployment benefits:
For months, as the nations economy has deteriorated, members of Congress have tried and failed to push through a common-sense extension of unemployment insurance benefits. Now there is another chance. House leaders plan to vote as soon as tomorrow (Wednesday) on a stand-alone extension bill passed April 16 by the House Ways and Means Committee. The extension, which adds 13 weeks of benefits to unemployed workers who have exhausted their benefits, might also remain attached to the emergency supplemental appropriations bill for war funding. Congress should use every possible vehicle to put this issue before the president. For the families of the millions of workers who are exhausting their right to unemployment compensation, the deteriorating job market is a real emergency. There are now only 3.7 million job vacancies but 8.5 million unemployed looking for work. The fault is not with the jobless; the problem is a failing economy and the governments failure to turn it around.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the bill now under consideration will provide benefits to 3.8 million people who otherwise are at extreme financial risk. The benefits will also provide a crucial boost to the faltering economy. Now is the time to ensure that Congress takes action.

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