Dear Senator Reid, Senator McConnell, Speaker Boehner, and Representative Pelosi,
We write to urge you to swiftly pass a one-year extension of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program ("EUC") and 100% federal funding of the Extended Benefits ("EB") Program before they expire on December 31.
We are extremely concerned about the potential impact of the expiration of these programs on families and our economic recovery as a whole. Unless Congress extends these programs before adjourning for the holidays, nearly 2 million unemployed workers will lose this critical support in January 2012 alone. Now is not the time to turn our backs on hard-working Americans. Individuals who are laid off through no fault of their own rely on these funds to support their families.
Extending unemployment insurance is a critical part of our ability to speed up the economic recovery process. Unemployment insurance benefits are immediately injected back into the economy. According to the Congressional Budget Office, federally extended unemployment insurance benefits provide one of the best bangs for the buck in terms of stimulating economic growth.
Congress has never failed to act on extending federal unemployment insurance benefits when the unemployment rate has exceeded 7.2%, and we must not fail our citizens now.
We urge immediate action to extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation and 100% federal funds for the Extended Benefits program through the end of 2012.
Governor Pat Quinn
Governor John Hickenloopor
Governor Edmund Gerald Brown
Governor Jack Markell
Governor Steven Beshear
Governor Deval Patrick
Governor Dannel P. Malloy
Governor Neil Abercrombie
Govemor Martin O'Malley
Govemor Mark Dayton
Governor Andrew Cuomo
Governor Bev Perdue
Governor John A. Kitzhaber, M.D.
Governor John deJongh,Jr.
Governor Peter Shumlin
Governor Chris Gregoire
Cc: Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus
Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp
House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin