Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—March 6, 2014. Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) and Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08) today led the House Democratic Caucus in writing a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner (OH-08) urging for an up-or-down vote to extend unemployment insurance. Their letter comes after a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that 200,000 Veterans are among the now over two million people who have lost their UI benefits since they expired at the end of last year.
“It is deeply disappointing that the majority has repeatedly failed to bring the extension of unemployment insurance to a vote,” Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth said. “Those coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan have enough to worry about without suffering from cuts to unemployment insurance. Our Veterans and unemployed have not given up on finding work, and we cannot give up on them.”
“Those who served honorably in the military shouldn’t return home only to find that the country they fought to defend has abandoned them as they actively look for a job,” Congressman Dan Kildee said. “Like other Americans who continue to actively seek work, unemployment insurance is a critical lifeline for Veterans to help them pay their bills, heat their homes and feed their families. It’s a shame that Republicans in Congress won’t schedule a simple up-or-down vote on this measure to help our nation’s Veterans.”
“Unemployment insurance is critical for these Veterans to be able feed their families and put a roof over their head as they seek to transition from combat to career or try to get back on their feet with a new job,” the letter reads.
“For the sake of these Veterans who are heroes, we urge you to allow an up-or-down vote on a proposal to extend unemployment insurance as soon as possible,” the letter continues.
Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth has been working toward extending unemployment benefits since they expired in 2013. She has spoken on the House floor and told the stories of her constituents, Mary Pakos and Lynn Richards, who were personally affected by the loss of unemployment benefits.
The Text of the letter is below:
March 6, 2014
Dear Mr. Speaker,
This week, the number of Americans out of work through no fault of their own who have seen their emergency unemployment insurance cut off has surpassed 2 million. Among them are close to 200,000 Veterans who have served their country and are now looking for a job, according to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
As Members of Congress, we find it unconscionable that the country these men and women have so proudly served has cut off this vital economic lifeline as they struggle to find work, after the worst recession since the Great Depression. Unemployment insurance is critical for these Veterans to be able feed their families and put a roof over their head as they seek to transition from combat to career or try to get back on their feet with a new job. And it demands responsibility in return by requiring them to prove they’re actively looking for work.
But the Republican majority of the House of Representatives has repeatedly blocked Democratic efforts to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which lapsed over two months ago. The result has been increasing hardship for the families of two million Americans, including 200,000 Veterans.
For the sake of these Veterans who are heroes, we urge you to allow an up-or-down vote on a proposal to extend unemployment insurance as soon as possible.