U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today released the following statement expressing disappointment that the Senate failed to extend unemployment insurance benefits, denying millions of dollars to thousands of Alaskans.
Begich voted in favor of extending the benefits.
"It's unfortunate that a small group of extreme Senators decided to put partisan politics ahead of protecting families today. These unemployment benefits are not a handout; workers pay into the system with the assurance that they have something to fall back on if they are out of work involuntarily. Alaskan families have already lost over $6 million since benefits expired -- that is $6 million that should be in Alaskans' pockets and going back into the Alaska economy. While the Senate failed to pass a solution today, Sen. Lisa Murkowski and I both supported the measure and we'll continue to work towards solutions to help the over 23,000 Alaskans who have earned and deserve this assistance."