Schatz Votes to Renew Unemployment Insurance

Senate Advances 3-Month Extension of Unemployment Insurance

Washington, DC—Today, the U.S. Senate voted 60-37 to move forward a renewal and three month extension of emergency, long-term unemployment insurance.  U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), who has been a vocal advocate of the need to restore unemployment insurance to the 1,900 Hawai‘i residents who immediately lost emergency unemployment benefits on December 28th, and to the additional 5,800 people in Hawai‘i at risk of losing out on future benefits, released the following statement:

“Today, the Senate took the first important step to restore this program and help families in Hawai‘i.  This was an uphill fight, but we were able to get Republicans to cross the aisle and join us to move this extension forward,” said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz.  “For thousands of families here in Hawai‘i, and millions of Americans across the country, unemployment insurance has been the lifeline that’s meant the difference between keeping their heads above water or losing their homes, or seeing their children go hungry.  The long-term unemployment rate today is more than double what it’s been at any other time that Congress has let emergency jobless assistance expire.  Families are struggling, and they need a little help.  Unemployment benefits are pumped right back into our economy, helping to spur growth and create jobs.  Renewing unemployment insurance is critical for Hawai‘i families and for our economy.”

The Senate is expected to vote on final passage of the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act tomorrow. The House of Representatives has not yet scheduled a vote on this legislation.