Representative Steve Rothman (D-NJ), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, released the following statement on the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Continuation Act (H.R. 6419), which got 258 votes, less than the 290 votes (two-thirds) needed to pass the House under special rules allowing for an expedited vote:
I supported this legislation to prevent close to 4,000 New Jersey citizens from losing their unemployment benefits at the end of this month. As we enter the holiday season, Congress must act to protect this economic lifeline for millions of Americans who lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and are struggling to find work in these difficult economic times.
The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Continuation Act would have authorized three additional months of continued unemployment benefits for Americans who have been unemployed for less than 99 weeks. Benefits are currently set to expire on November 30, 2010. This legislation would have extended them until February 28, 2011.
237 Democrats and 21 Republicans voted in favor of the measure, while 143 Republicans and 11 Democrats opposed it.
I will continue working with House Leadership to secure an extension of unemployment benefits before the current expiration date.