November 04, 2009

Udall: Senate Finally Passes Unemployment Insurance Extension After Weeks of Republican Delays

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Udall, D-N.M., today issued the following statement regarding the Senate’s long-awaited passage of an Unemployment Insurance benefits extension following weeks of partisan delays:

“While I remain outraged that Senate Republicans decided to engage in nearly a month of political gamesmanship before working with us to extend unemployment benefits for millions of laid-off American workers, I’m relieved that aid for these families is around is finally the corner.

“In New Mexico, more than 150,000 residents are jobless as a result of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Now we will finally be able to send them a financial lifeline to keeping roofs over their heads and food on their tables.

“Furthermore, this unemployment insurance is fully paid for and will not add a dime to the deficit. It is my hope that it will provide families that have been struggling with a little more security to get through the winter months and holiday season.”

In October, Udall objected to proposals from the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate that offered inadequate benefits for jobless workers in 23 states, including New Mexico. The legislation proposed in the House, only extended benefits in New Mexico for four weeks while this measure would ensure an extension for up to 13 weeks in other states. Udall strongly objected to the legislation and urged the Senate leadership to make a more equitable extension to unemployment benefits.

The Senate-passed measure will provide an additional 14 weeks of unemployment benefits for unemployed New Mexicans.