WASHINGTON – The number of people who have lost their unemployment benefits as a result of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program’s expiration has surpassed two million this week, according to a new analysis from US Ways and Means Committee Democrats.
The estimate includes the number of people in each state who have lost coverage since the program’s Dec. 28 expiration. Every week, 72,000 people, on average, are losing their unemployment benefits nationwide without an extension of the program. House Republicans have blocked multiple efforts by Democrats to bring up legislation to extend the program on the House floor. Last month a measure to extend the program came one vote short of the 60 votes necessary to move forward legislation in the Senate.
“A financial crisis is confronting more and more families every day that Republicans fail to support an extension of this vital program,” said Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI). “One Republican vote in the Senate is all that stands in the way of two million people and their families coming one critical step closer to seeing their financial lifeline restored as they look for work.”
This report shows that 11,300 Iowans have lost their unemployment benefits. “We hope that the Senate will take this important issue up again in the next few weeks,” said Ken Sagar, President of the Iowa Federation of Labor. “We cannot afford to leave working families behind. Unemployment benefits are the difference between total hopelessness and a place to live and food on the table.”