The US Senate passed a procedural vote Tuesday to extend long-term unemployment insurance that ended late last year. The vote does not guarantee final passage, and the measure still must pass the House of Representatives, according to a report by USA Today.
The 60-37 vote with six Republicans voting with the majority of Democrats shows there is ample support to reinstate Emergency Unemployment Compensation that expired Dec. 28 leaving 1.3 million jobless Americans without benefits, many for whom the benefit is their only source of income. The average unemployment benefit per person is $330 a week.
The six Republicans joining Democrats to vote for the extension are: Susan Collins (Maine); Dan Coates (Ind.); Kelly Ayotte (NH); Dean Heller (Nev.); Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Rob Portman (Ohio).
President Barack Obama praised the Senate’s progress on the bill saying it’s a “very important step” and called on Republicans in the Senate and House to back the legislation “without obstruction or delay.”
“Voting for unemployment insurance helps people and creates jobs and voting against it does not,” Obama said in remarks at the White House.
“We have got to get this across the finish line without obstruction or delay and we need the House of Representatives to be able to vote for it as well,” he said. “That’s the bottom line.”
Obama said there are economic and moral arguments for extending the benefits, and the extension is in the spirit of Americans who believe in helping each other.
“We know that, there but for the grace of God, go I,” he said.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at
Unemployment Insurance Extension in US / Transcripts: President Obama’s and House Speaker John Boehner Jan. 7 remarks
PRESIDENT OBAMA: … Five years ago this month, our economy was shedding 800,000 jobs, just in one month. But as Americans buckled down and worked hard and sacrificed, we began to come back. And our businesses have created more than 8 million new jobs since we hit the bottom. Our auto industry’s gone from bust … Continue reading »