Senate Votes to Extend Emergency Unemployment Insurance

Monday, April 07, 2014

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow today voted with a bipartisan group of Senators to pass a 5 month extension of emergency unemployment insurance for millions of Americans who are looking for work. The legislation passed today will restore temporary insurance for the 106,200 people in Michigan who lost this critical support. The extension is retroactive to December, 2013, when emergency unemployment insurance expired, and continues through the end of May.

"This support is the last lifeline for those out of work through no fault of their own," said Stabenow. "I am glad the Senate was finally able to come together and help tens of thousands of Michigan families put food on the table, keep the heat on and keep a roof over their heads while they look for a job. These families have been cut off from this vital support for more than three months now and it is critical that the House act on this bipartisan measure without further delay."

Extended unemployment insurance has historically been passed on a bipartisan basis during economic downturns to help families struggling to find work and to help bolster the economy. Emergency unemployment insurance was passed in the heart of the recent downturn in 2008 and has been reauthorized several times since as unemployment has remained above average. While the economy has been recovering over the past several years, there are still 1.3 million fewer jobs than there were before the recession began and there are still three unemployed people looking for work for every one job available. When President Bush first signed extended unemployment benefits in 2008, the national unemployment rate was 5.6%.