Cantwell Heralds Unemployment Benefits Extension

Senate overcomes Republican obstruction to extend benefits for six months

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) applauded the six month extension of unemployment benefits.  The extension will last through the end of November and be retroactive through June 2.  All those who have not exhausted their full 99 weeks of unemployment will receive retroactive benefits. 


“Extending these benefits provides critical stimulus and a lifeline for Americans unable to find employment in this tough economy. This action literally puts food on tables, pays overdue bills, and provides for visits to the doctor,” said Senator Cantwell. “There is no excuse for partisan obstruction to have prevented the extension of other critical benefits until now. At long last, today we have extended this vital safety net for Americans searching for work.”  


So far, 18,600 Washingtonians have lost their unemployment benefits since June 12.  Without this extension, 130,000 more people would have exhausted their benefits between July and December. 


The Senate has repeatedly tried to pass a long-term extension of unemployment benefits only to run into Republican filibuster tactics. More information is available here.


The legislation now goes to the House of Representatives for a vote.