11.04.09

Whitehouse Praises Senate Passage of Unemployment Extension

Bill Also Includes Measures to Extend Homebuyer Tax Credit and Help Businesses to Offset Losses Incurred During Recession

Washington, DC - With millions of Americans still struggling to find work in this difficult economy, the U.S. Senate today took action to assist those in need by extending unemployment insurance benefits for up to 20 weeks. The legislation, which passed the Senate by a vote of 98 to 0, will also expand and extend the $8,000 homebuyer tax credit passed earlier this year and allow businesses to offset losses incurred during the recession. Whitehouse, a cosponsor of the unemployment provision, released the following statement following today's vote:

"I was proud to stand with Senator Jack Reed, who has long been a champion of helping the unemployed, in passing this legislation today. With an estimated 74,000 Rhode Islanders out of work, this bill will provide a badly needed lifeline to better days ahead. It's unfortunate that our Republican colleagues spent four weeks filibustering and delaying the passage of this critical assistance, but thankfully, we were finally able to overcome their obstructionism and deliver some much-needed help to struggling families.

"I am especially pleased that in addition to the 14 weeks of benefits this legislation would provide to unemployed workers in all states, workers in states with the worst job markets would receive 6 further weeks of benefits, additional relief desperately needed by Rhode Islanders.

"Our economy will recover, but until then, I will keep fighting to make sure people in Rhode Island and across the country have the resources necessary to get them through these tough times."


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