Congresswoman Shelley Berkley is warning Nevadans that if Republicans are not stopped, nearly 50,000 jobless residents of the Silver State could lose their guaranteed federal unemployment benefits. As a Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Berkley has fought to keep federal funding for extended unemployment benefits in place at a time when Nevada is struggling with a double-digit jobless rate. A proposal being considered today by the Committee would take $31 billion from unemployed workers and give it to Nevada and other states without any requirement that it be used to pay benefits to the jobless.
"As the state with the nation's highest unemployment rate, Nevada families continue struggling without work and they depend on these benefits just to survive. At a time when they desperately need this helping hand, Republicans would end guaranteed unemployment benefits and allow states to use funding for other needs. I am concerned that if we end these federal unemployment benefits, the result will be states like Nevada slashing payments to workers who have lost their jobs," said Berkley. "And even if states choose to use this funding to supply extended benefits, funding streams will run dry by the end of 2011. The result in my home State would be nearly 50,000 of my fellow Nevadans losing their unemployment checks at a time when there are not enough jobs to put these men and women back to work."
The legislation opposed by Berkley would also impose new education, training and work search requirements on recipients, even as Republican budget proposals slash funding for training and employment services.