Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) today discussed Congress' recent extension of unemployment benefits during a press conference at Partners in Job Training & Placement in Moline.
"The job market is the worst I can ever remember it," Hare said. "Our economy has lost over 430,000 jobs in the last six months alone. Extending unemployment benefits is simply the right thing to do."
On June 30, President Bush signed legislation supported by Hare which offered up to an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits for as many as 165,000 Illinoisans who are looking for work. Generally, those who exhausted regular unemployment benefits within the last 20 months and are still looking for a job would be eligible.
"There is no substitute for policies that create more good-paying jobs," Hare said. "But in the meantime, we must fulfill our obligation to help working families struggling to make ends meet."
Extending unemployment benefits is one of the most cost-effective and fast-acting ways to stimulate the economy because the money is spent quickly, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Every $1 spent on unemployment benefits generates $1.64 in new economic demand.
On July 1, the state of Illinois agreed to implement the federal extensionpaving the way for 17th District families to get relief. Many checks are currently being mailed out.
"People in my district want a hand up, not a hand out," Hare said. "The Bush economypredicated on tax cuts for the rich and bad trade dealshas left too many of them in the dust. Until we see a substantial economic recovery, I will continue to support an extension of unemployment benefits."