Foster Calls For Immediate Vote To Extend Unemployment Insurance
Washington, DC -- Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) is continuing to call for a vote to extend unemployment insurance. Since the program expired on December 28, 2013, over two million Americans, including 116,136 Illinois residents, have lost unemployment insurance. It’s estimated that this has already cost the economy $2 billion nationally and nearly $200 million in Illinois.
Foster joined his colleagues in signing a discharge petition, led by Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10), to bring up the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act (H.R. 3546). The bill extends emergency unemployment insurance for nearly 5 million Americans looking for work through the end of the year.
“Because Speaker Boehner and House Republicans have blocked every attempt to bring this up for a vote, over two million Americans, including 116,136 Illinois residents, have been cut off from unemployment insurance,” said Foster. “I have heard from many constituents who are looking for work, but need this important safety net to support their families while they search. Unemployment insurance is not a hand out, it’s a hand up for workers who lost their job, through no fault of their own, and need a lifeline while they look for work.”
“In addition to leaving families without a safety net, failing to extend unemployment insurance is simply bad economic policy. Congress needs to take immediate action to restore this important lifeline,” added Foster.
In January, Foster spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives on the need to extend unemployment insurance. Video is available here.
A discharge petition is a mechanism to avoid leadership gridlock in Congress by requiring the House to consider the legislation once a majority of Members of Congress (218) have signed it.