Congressman Charles B. Rangel stressed the importance of extending the federal unemployment benefits after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the independent budget arm of Congress, released a report confirming that an extension of unemployment insurance would add 300,000 jobs to the economy by boosting spending and growth in 2013.
"This new report by the CBO shows us how critical it is to extend the federal jobless benefits before they expire on December 29th," Rangel said. "These benefits help to provide financial security to people who have been laid off due to no fault of their own. They will also generate demand for goods and services."
The CBO report estimated that while extending unemployment insurance would cost around $30 billion, it would nevertheless increase gross domestic product by 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2013. States generally provide jobless benefits to people who have been out of work for 26 weeks if they left their job involuntarily. As a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed by Congress in February 2009, nearly seven million unemployed people have been able to receive benefits up to 99 weeks.
An additional report prepared earlier this month by the House Ways and Means Committee Democrats showed that if Congress fails to act by the end of this year, more than two million Americans, including 200,000 New Yorkers, would lose their benefits.
"Millions of people across the country are relying on us to get this done," Rangel continued. "I am hopeful that we will be able to come together to find a sensible solution for extending these benefits while addressing the fiscal cliff before the deadline. There is no excuse for failing to act."