As unemployment insurance benefits expire today for millions of Americans, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:
“Today, because of Republicans’ refusal to act, approximately 1.3 million American workers will lose crucial unemployment insurance benefits. These benefits provide critical support to the economy and to millions of Americans who have yet to find work.
“Extending unemployment insurance is the right thing to do for millions of Americans who are trying to support their families. What makes matters worse, the loss of benefits comes just a few days after the holidays. Extending unemployment insurance is the right thing to do for those who are unemployed and for the economy as a whole. Failing to extend it will slow our recovery and could cost our economy 240,000 jobs next year. In 2012 alone, unemployment insurance lifted an estimated 2.5 million Americans out of poverty. Despite these facts, Republicans in Congress prevented us from providing these critical benefits earlier this month, and many of their leaders continue to voice their strong opposition today.
“We have made significant progress in bringing our economy back from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression with over 8 million private sector jobs added since President Obama took office and the lowest unemployment rate in five years. But the unemployment rate is still unacceptably high. As we continue our work to create more good paying jobs, it is essential that we extend unemployment benefits to the millions of American families who still need and rely on them. I urge my Republican colleagues to join Democrats and put rigid partisanship aside, stop this unprecedented obstruction, and to do what is right when Congress returns in the New Year.”