November 20,2008

Baucus Applauds Senate Passage of Extension to Unemployment Insurance

Finance Chairman urged UI extension in October

Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) applauded final passage today of additional unemployment insurance benefits for jobless Americans in this time of economic crisis. The Senate voted today to approve H.R. 6867, the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2008, which was previously introduced in the Senate as S. 3507 by Senator Baucus, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.). The proposal provides seven additional weeks of extended benefits nationwide, with an additional 13weeks of benefits in states with unemployment rates above six percent. The legislation also offers temporary Federal support for the first week of extended benefits without requiring awaiting period.

“The unemployment rate hit six and half percent in October, the highest it’s been in morethan ten years. Overall, the economy has lost more than one million jobs this year, and most of that during the last three months. People are really hurting, and they’re having ahard time finding new jobs in the lagging economy,” Baucus said. “It’s right for Congress to assist out-of-work Americans so they can continue to put food on the table at night for their families.”

By the end of September, the unemployment extension approved by Congress in June had expired for at least 180,000 people. The Department of Labor estimates that the first extension of additional benefits would expire for 890,000 people by the end of October and 1.3 million people by the end of the year.

Prior to today’s action, Baucus also included 13 additional weeks of extended benefits for unemployed workers in the Iraq Supplemental Funding Bill.

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