Rep. Costa Statement on Extension of Emergency Unemployment Benefits

Jul 22, 2010
Press Release

Washington, D.C.  – Congressman Jim Costa issued the following statement today upon House passage of an extension of emergency unemployment benefits. Approval by the House of Representatives sends the temporary extension to the President to be signed into law.

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“After weeks of partisan delay, I am pleased that jobless Valley residents will receive this temporary relief as they continue to search for employment,” said Costa. “Our Valley is home to some of the hardest working people in our nation. Extending these benefits provides those who’ve lost their jobs a needed lifeline as they fight to get back on their feet and support their families. More than ever, Congress must focus on promoting economic growth and job creation in our communities. This is why I will continue to secure additional water and the tools our Valley needs to put people back to work.”

The House vote to agree to Senate amendments to H.R. 4213, the Restoration of Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act, extends the Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits programs through November 30, 2010. This will retroactively restore benefits to people who may have started losing their benefits as early as the end of May. 

For video of Costa speaking in support of the extension on the House floor today, click here.

Background

The current lapse in extended benefits is unprecedented.  Since 1959, the government has never allowed extended unemployment benefits to expire when the national unemployment rate is still above 7.2 percent. 

Extending unemployment benefits is widely acknowledged to be beneficial not just for the unemployed and their families, but for the economy as a whole. Moodys.com chief economist Mark Zandi, a former advisor to the McCain presidential campaign, testified before the Senate Finance Committee that every dollar in unemployment benefits creates at least $1.61 in economic activity as recipients spend their benefits in neighborhood businesses.

According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project, 55 percent of all adults in the labor force say that since the economic downturn began 30 months ago, they have suffered a spell of unemployment, a cut in pay, a reduction in hours, or have become involuntary part-time workers.

Unemployment rates in Fresno, Kern, and Kings Counties for the month of June are as follows:

Fresno: 16%

Kern: 15.7%

Kings: 15.9%