More than 4,400 residents of Whatcom, Skagit, Island and San Juan counties will lose unemployment insurance in the next few months if Congress does not act to extend the program by the end of the year, Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, said today. Larsen was briefed yesterday by the Northwest Workforce Council in Bellingham on the jobless situation and the effect of Congressional inaction on unemployment insurance.
"Unemployment insurance is literally what lets families keep food on the table and a roof over their heads, " Larsen said. "It is simply unacceptable that more than 4,400 Whatcom, Skagit, Island and San Juan residents would lose this lifeline simply because House Republicans are playing brinksmanship with the economy yet again."
Economists say that unemployment insurance accounts for an important part of economic growth, and if it is not extended the recovery could slip.
The Senate recently passed a widely bipartisan bill to extend unemployment insurance, continue middle class tax relief and protect seniors' access to their doctors. Republican leadership has refused to allow that bill to come for an up or down vote in the House of Representatives.