Cantwell Calls for Maintaining Unemployment Compensation

Says insurance is critical safety net for tens of thousands of Washingtonians searching for too few jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released the following statement calling for the immediate extension of federal unemployment benefits for the tens of thousands of Washingtonians and two million people nationwide whose benefits end today. 
“Cutting off critical unemployment benefits amid the deepest recession in generations and the holiday season is unconscionable and bad economic policy. Every day, millions of Americans out of work through no fault of their own are searching for new employment in an environment where there is only one job available for every five job seekers.  Extending unemployment compensation also helps our overall economy. Every dollar allocated increases economic output by $1.60 because recipients spend it right away to meet basic needs.”  
Not once in the last 40 years has Congress allowed extended unemployment insurance to expire when the unemployment rate was above 7.2 percent. Yesterday, however, extended federal unemployment benefits expired after Republican lawmakers in the Senate objected to continuing them.  For further detail on how the expiration of emergency unemployment benefits affects Washingtonians, click here to view a November press release from the Washington State Employment Security Department.