Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) today released the following statement regarding the U.S. Senate's failure to pass critical legislation that would extend unemployment insurance and the 65 percent COBRA subsidy by one month. The Senate is not expected to take up the measure again until next week.
"Yesterday, I stood side-by-side with my Democratic and Republican colleagues in the House to extend unemployment insurance and the COBRA subsidy for one month. Yet the actions of a lone opponent, Republican Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, have prevented similar action from taking place in the Senate and will ultimately lead to these programs expiring this weekend.
"It is more apparent than ever, with this latest affront to working families, the Senate is broken and needs to be reformed. When one, seriously out-of-touch Senator can obstruct the work of this Congress to provide a critical safety net to American families there is a major problem. Senator Bunning is single-handedly preventing these critical extensions because he feels that they are not of an emergency nature. I couldn't disagree more. Maybe Senator Bunning doesn't need to worry about putting food on his family's table, but to those Americans who rely on these benefits to provide for their families, this is most certainly an emergency."
Hare has been an outspoken advocate of extending both unemployment insurance and COBRA assistance. On February 12, he led a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) calling on them to include an extension in any jobs bill.