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Grayson Helps Struggling Families

Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Supports Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act

Congressman Alan Grayson (FL-8) voted to support people hurt by the economic crisis, by extending unemployment compensation. The Restoration of Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act (H.R. 5618) will enable millions of Americans to keep their homes and put food on the table.

Congressman Grayson said, "There are millions of hard-working Americans who, through no fault of their own, are without a job. Every day, they must struggle with difficult decisions about how to they are going to support and feed their families. Helping families in this time of need is not only the right decision morally, but it is necessary to continue our economic recovery."

Without this critical extension, an estimated 119,200 people in Florida, and 1.7 million Americans will lose unemployment benefits by July 3rd. The bill extends the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) and Extended Benefits programs through November 30, 2010. It also retroactively restores benefits to some people, including those who may have started losing benefits as early as the end of May, or those who lost benefits after only 26 weeks.

Never before in history has the government cut off benefits when unemployment was so high. Since 1959, the government has protected unemployment benefits when the national unemployment rate is above 7.2 percent. The current rate is 9.7 percent.

The bill was blocked by Congressional Republicans Tuesday, but was reconsidered Thursday under rules requiring a simple majority vote. The now-bipartisan bill passed by a vote of 270-153.

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