The U.S. House of Representatives passed emergency unemployment insurance extension legislation on Thursday to ensure unemployed workers continue to be able to make ends meet as they look for their next job. U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) voted in favor of H.R. 4213, Unemployment Compensation Extension Act, which passed the House with bipartisan support. The legislation passed the U.S. Senate Wednesday after more than six weeks of gridlock and will now go to the President to be signed into law.
"We cannot afford to turn our backs on those who are out of work and most in need of assistance as they try to put food on the table and pay their bills while looking for new employment," Stupak said. "We are making progress in our economic recovery, but we are not there yet. In the meantime, this emergency unemployment extension will provide basic relief to thousands of families in northern Michigan."
H.R. 4213 will extend the current expanded unemployment benefits through November 30, 2010 and restore benefits to individuals who may have recently lost their benefits.
Of the approximately 540,000 Michigan workers currently receiving unemployment assistance, nearly 60 percent would see their unemployment benefits exhausted by the end of November without the extension that will be provided by H.R. 4213. That includes more than 26,000 individuals in the First Congressional District. With the extension, Michigan residents will remain eligible for a total of 99 weeks of benefits through November 30, 2010.
"The House of Representatives has passed this emergency unemployment extension four times now," Stupak said. "I am pleased the Senate was finally able to muster the votes necessary to pass this critical legislation and that this time we are sending the bill to the President to be signed into law."