Reps. Costa, Schneider Press Speaker Boehner for Immediate Vote on Unemployment Insurance Deal

WASHINGTON— U.S. Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) and U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner asking for an immediate vote on the Senate-passed unemployment insurance extension.

Rep. Costa and Rep. Schneider led the letter, which 131 of their colleagues signed, to underscore the urgent need to extend this critical lifeline for millions of Americans.

“On average, every eight seconds the House delays a vote on this bill, another jobseeker is cut off the program. People in our communities are hurting, and the unemployment rate is still unacceptably high. For Americans looking for work in a difficult economy, this critical assistance will keep a roof over their heads and food in their children’s mouths. Passing this compromise legislation will not only help our fellow citizens, but it will also strengthen the economy,” the letter said.

You can read the full text of the letter here

Rep. Costa represents the San Joaquin Valley that has struggled through the economic recovery only to be hit hard again by California’s devastating drought. Some farming communities throughout the Valley could face more than 40% unemployment as fields lay fallow, and Costa has called for extending unemployment insurance to offer these hardworking people a lifeline.

Rep. Schneider has been active in calling for an immediate vote on unemployment insurance and introduced a discharge petition to force a vote in the House on extending unemployment insurance. He also hosted a roundtable discussion to hear directly from constituents who recently lost their unemployment insurance. 

On Dec. 28th, critical unemployment insurance lapsed for 1.3 million Americans. The number of people who have lost unemployment insurance has now risen to 2.3 million people, with an average of 72,000 people losing their insurance each week. The Senate passed a bipartisan unemployment insurance extension on Monday.