U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) issued the following statement after the Senate voted 89 to 10 to extend a tax cut for middle-class families, and continue emergency federal unemployment benefits for 7,300 Delawareans who are struggling to find work.
"As our nation slowly recovers from this paralyzing recession, it is important that Congress not turn its back on those still struggling to make ends meet. While I would have preferred the certainty of a one-year extension instead of the two-month measure approved today, I am glad my colleagues finally came together today to act and avert additional financial hardship for so many Americans. By extending the middle-class payroll tax cut, Congress prevented a tax increase of nearly $800 for the average Delaware family from kicking-in at the end of the month. It was an important step to continue our nation's economic recovery.
"Congress has a responsibility to work together to not only help pass legislation that helps grow our economy and create jobs, but also to support those struggling to find work. With only one job opening for every four job seekers, nearly half of all unemployed Americanshave been out of work for more than six months. In continuing funding for emergency federal unemployment benefits today, we are telling the millions of out-of-work Americans that we are not giving up on them. We cannot leave our neighbors out in the cold. Unemployment benefits are a vital lifeline for so many families, and I am proud that the Senate did the right thing today in continuing them."
Senator Coons is a member of the Senate Budget Committee.