Maloney Votes to Extend Unemployment Benefits
Washington, D.C. – Today, House Republicans blocked legislation to extend federal unemployment benefits for three months, despite the positive impact that unemployment benefits have in stimulating the economy. U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) voted for the legislation, which would have prevented an estimated 160,000 unemployed workers in New York State, including 95,000 in New York City, from losing their benefits by the end of the year.
"It’s unthinkable that Republicans continue to just say 'no' to any and all measures aimed at helping the economy," said Rep. Maloney, who also serves as Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee. "Not only would this bill have extended benefits to nearly 160,000 unemployed workers in New York, including 95,000 in New York City, but it would have helped the economy – unemployment benefits are one of the most powerful and effective tools we have for boosting economic growth."
The Joint Economic Committee released a report prior to the House vote detailing the economic impact of federal unemployment benefits. The report found that prematurely ending the federal unemployment insurance benefits program would drain the economy of $80 billion in purchasing power and result in the loss of over one million jobs over the next year. The President’s Council of Economic Advisers estimates that every dollar spent on unemployment insurance benefits increases gross domestic product (GDP) by $1.60.
Maloney added, "Ending federal unemployment insurance would not only harm millions of families who count on these benefits to make ends meet, it would also jeopardize our fragile recovery by prematurely withdrawing a key source of growth and job creation. For many large and small retailers, the holiday shopping season is critical to their bottom line. Lopping off $80 billion in purchasing power will hurt them as well.”
If Republicans in the House, and in the Senate, continue to obstruct passage of legislation to extend unemployment benefits, nearly two million unemployed Americans who have been out of work for more than 26 weeks and are receiving federal benefits right now will lose those benefits in December.