Today, Delaware Congressman Mike Castle, a senior Member of the House Education and Labor Committee, voted in support of H.R. 5618, the Restoration of Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act, which would extend unemployment benefits for millions of unemployed Americans through November 30, 2010.
"With the high rate of unemployment this country continues to face, 9.7 percent nationally and 8.8 percent in Delaware, it is imperative that Congress provide adequate short-term support to laid-off Americans who continue to struggle finding employment during this economic downturn. Equally vital is enacting policies to assist in creating long-term, permanent economic growth, as well as to foster job training and education opportunities," said Rep. Castle. "Extending jobless benefits will immediately assist the families in Delaware and around the nation that face serious challenges. Moving forward, I remain committed to helping job-seekers gain access to job training and employment opportunities, and to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to provide long-term solutions for our workforce."
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 7 million people, or 46 percent of those who are currently unemployed, have been unemployed and seeking employment for 27 weeks or longer.
H.R. 5618, the Restoration of Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act, extends unemployment insurance benefits through November 30, and makes them retroactive to June 2, when the previous extension expired. The measure also requires states to maintain their current benefit levels as a condition of receiving increased federal funding. The measure now awaits consideration by the U.S. Senate. Rep. Castle first voted in favor of this bill when it was considered in the House on Tuesday, but it failed to garner the 2/3 majority needed for passage.
Rep. Castle is a strong advocate on behalf of working families. In Delaware, Rep. Castle has met with local businesses to understand what is needed for them to succeed in the current economy. Rep. Castle has also brought businesses and career advisors together at three job fairs to help job seekers understand what job, career building, workforce training, and networking opportunities are available throughout the state in this challenging economy. In Congress, as a senior Member of the House Education and Labor Committee, Rep. Castle has actively participated in hearings to explore long-term solutions for our workforce. Rep. Castle has voted to increase the federal minimum wage, and has consistently supported efforts to increase and extend unemployment benefits.