Congressman Lowenthal Hails Bipartisan Senate Action on Unemployment Insurance

April 8, 2014
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Alan Lowenthal today commended Senate bipartisan action on legislation to extend unemployment insurance for nearly three million Americans, and called on the House to follow suit by passing Congressman Dan Kildee's companion bill.  The Senate passed the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act by a vote of 59 to 38, which retroactively extends emergency unemployment insurance through the end of May. 

"Bipartisan action in the Senate on unemployment insurance is a crucial step for economic security for 514,300 Californians, and now is the time for long overdue action in the House.  The unemployed, who were cut off from compensation, have suffered through this crisis for 3 months.  It has impacted nearly 2.8 million Americans and cost our state's economy more than $830 million," Congressman Lowenthal said.  "It is time for Speaker Boehner and House Republicans to listen to the American people and restore this vital economic lifeline that helps people support their families and pay their bills while they look for a new job.  To force action, not only have I cosponsored Congressman Kildee's companion bill, but I have joined with 193 of my Democratic colleagues in signing a petition to hold an immediate vote on extending unemployment insurance."

The bipartisan Senate agreement, as well as the House companion bill, would:

  • Retroactively restore emergency unemployment insurance for five months;
  • Exclude millionaires from receiving emergency unemployment insurance;
  • Strengthen efforts to help get job seekers back into the workforce;
  • Be fully paid for with pension smoothing and extending fees on U.S. customs users through 2024.

Despite the growing struggles for these families, House Republicans have blocked multiple efforts by Democrats to bring up legislation to extend unemployment insurance on the House floor for more than three months.  To overcome this opposition, 193 House Democrats have signed a discharge petition to force action on this widely supported legislation.  The discharge petition would require the House to consider the unemployment insurance extension legislation once a majority of Members of Congress (218) have signed the petition.

"Action to create jobs and build an economy that works for everyone must start with restoring unemployment insurance for hardworking Americans who were laid off in the recession through no fault of their own," Congressman Lowenthal said.

Congressman Alan Lowenthal represents the cities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Signal Hill, Avalon, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Cypress, Westminster, Garden Grove, Buena Park, Anaheim, Midway City and Stanton in California's 47th Congressional District. He can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, or his website.