UAW Statement on Senate Passage of EUC Extension

DETROIT — The UAW commends the Senate for reaching a bipartisan agreement and passing legislation to extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits.  As our economy continues to recover, the EUC program provides critical support to job seekers and their families.  It is now Speaker Boehner’s turn to take action immediately in the House of Representatives.

Since December 28, more than 2.2 million Americans have been completely cut off from the EUC program, and another 72,000 continue to lose benefits each week. These are Americans who have worked and are actively looking to return to work. The loss of EUC benefits not only devastates these individuals and families, but damages the economy by reducing overall consumer spending and costing approximately 240,000 jobs in 2014.  This bipartisan bill will retroactively restore EUC benefits to those whose benefits were cut off and extend the program through the end of May. As a true compromise, the legislation is fully paid for, and there is absolutely no reason for further delay.

It is unconscionable that millions of Americans have had to wait more than 90 days for Congress to act. Currently, the average length of unemployment is 36 weeks, and yet job seekers who have been desperately trying to get back to work are being denied benefits at 26 weeks.  We all must continue to push back against this attack on vital programs that help families, and we demand that House Republican leadership bring this extension of emergency unemployment insurance to the floor for a vote.