Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) today released the following statement in response to the House and Senate both passing two month extensions of unemployment insurance and a 65 percent COBRA subsidy. Senate Republicans have blocked this emergency legislation for more than three weeks.
"I am pleased that Congress has finally passed an extension of unemployment insurance and COBRA assistance. Families that lose their jobs and their health care through no fault of their own need these benefits to make ends meet. The obstruction by Senate Republicans that caused these programs to lapse was more than just political posturing; it took food off of the table of ordinary families. Thankfully, the unemployment extension is retroactive. Last night, President Obama urged Congress "to move quickly to extend these benefits through the end of this year.' I agree. In an economic downturn, this is not a debate we should be having every month."