Today, Congressman Charles B. Rangel, U.S. Senator Jack Reed, Ways and Means Ranking Member Sander Levin and Rep. Lloyd Doggett, along with additional Members of the Committee and the Congressional Black Caucus, joined unemployed workers in calling for renewal of federal unemployment insurance programs, which are due to expire later this month on the 29th of December.
"Congress should not wait for a deal in order to extend unemployment benefits. Too many Americans are already struggling to keep their heads above water," said Rangel. "They cannot afford yet another setback due to irresponsible governance and partisanship by the Republican leadership."
The unemployment insurance compensation benefits that were previously renewed in 2011 under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act are due to expire on December 29, 2012, if Congress does not act. Over two million Americans stand to lose their benefits during the holidays and another one million will lose their benefits in the beginning of 2013.
"Almost a quarter of a million New Yorkers will lose their only source of income if the Congress fails to extend the benefits. Unemployment insurance programs help millions of Americans that are out of work -- at no fault of their own -- pay bills, put food on the table, and stay afloat as much as possible. In turn, these benefits put money in people's pockets, promote spending, strengthen businesses and help recover our economy," Rangel said.
The Congressional Budget Office, an independent arm of Congress that provides non-partisan analysis of the federal budget and the economy, recently released a report explaining that full extension of unemployment insurance programs in 2013 would boost the gross domestic product and create 300,000 new jobs.
"Americans want the wealthy to start paying their fair share and balance our economy on the basis of reasonable budget cuts. We cannot push some people over the cliff, and not others," said Rangel. "We must protect our workers and encourage economic stability through bipartisanship. My Democratic Colleagues and I will keep fighting to extend emergency unemployment insurance whether a deal is made or not- because it's the right thing to do."