Washington, D.C. -- Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District released the following statement today after Senate Republicans once again voted to block action on a three-month extension of unemployment insurance. The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act, which is fully paid for and includes a provision to prohibit millionaires from receiving benefits, fell one vote short of the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture.
"For more than a month, long-term unemployed workers in New Mexico have been losing emergency unemployment insurance that has helped them make ends meet while they continue their search for work. More than 7,400 people across our state are worrying how they will get by if Congressional Republicans continue to stand in the way of an emergency extension.
"Time and again, Senate Republicans have blocked attempts to move forward with legislation that extends this important safety net, while Republicans in the House have refused to even act. Nearly 9,000 New Mexicans are still at risk of losing unemployment insurance over the next five months if Congressional Republicans continue to act as a roadblock to an extension.
"With nearly three job seekers for every job opening and our economy in New Mexico still struggling to recover, now is not the time to stand idly by. Extending unemployment insurance will help those hit hardest by the recession while generating economic activity that provides a boost to local businesses."