January 15, 2014

Udall Statement on Republican Filibuster of Emergency Unemployment Benefit Extension

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Tom Udall expressed his disappointment at yesterday's failed vote to advance a bill to extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation for millions of out-of-work Americans. Emergency unemployment insurance ran out on Dec. 28, leaving nearly 6,000 New Mexicans who are looking for work wondering how they will makes ends meet until Congress can work together to find a solution. Although a majority of the Senate voted to move the bill forward (55-45), it failed to win the 60 votes necessary to bypass a Republican filibuster. Udall issued the following statement:

"I'm extremely disappointed that despite a number of attempts to work out differences, the Senate was unable to agree to extend emergency unemployment insurance for families who are still struggling as a result of the recession. Nationwide, there are still three people applying for every one available job opening. Here in New Mexico, unemployment is well above 6 percent - in some counties it's about 12 percent. Many are families with children, veterans, and workers who need time to get new skills training or further education to qualify for the jobs that are available.

"Our recovery has been too slow, and emergency unemployment insurance is a lifeline. It helps pay for necessities for job seekers, like the phone bill, and gas for the car. It helps communities and small business owners who struggle alongside their customers when there isn't enough money to spend on food and rent. Cutting off this assistance when families and communities need it most will be a blow to our fragile economic recovery, and it's unacceptable that American families are yet again paying the price for Congress' dysfunction. I'm going to continue to work with both sides to find a path forward, to put American families and our economic recovery first, and pass this legislation as soon as possible."