Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On Senate Passage of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act

[The Senate Monday night approved the bipartisan Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act by a vote of 59-38, legislation which will reauthorize emergency unemployment insurance benefits for five months, allowing for retroactive payments going back to December 28, when the benefits expired.]

“Our economy is showing strong signs of improvement, but millions of Americans, including thousands of Vermonters, remain out of work, still trying to find a job to help support their families and their households.  The Senate started this year by considering legislation to address these expired benefits. Now, more than three months after they expired, these hardworking, yet unemployed, Vermonters will finally see some relief. This is a responsible bill that ensures that recipients of benefits are those most in need.

“Before the Senate’s action, the leadership in the House of Representatives sent a clear signal that they have no intention of bringing this much needed legislation to the House floor.  I hope tonight’s vote in the Senate gives them pause to reconsider this harsh position.  Our economy remains on the brink; to ensure our continued recovery, we need to support American workers still looking for jobs.”

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