October 21, 2009

Udall Urges Passage of Unemployment Benefits Extension for 1.9 Million Americans

Calls on Senate Republicans to Stop Delay Tactics

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Udall, D-NM, today called on Senate Republicans to stop blocking legislation to extend unemployment benefits to jobless Americans who are struggling to put food on the table as they search for new jobs and train for new careers.

Legislation to extend benefits to 1.9 million out-of-work Americans has widespread support among Democrats, but passage has been delayed because of stall tactics by Republicans opposed to the bill. The legislation would provide a 14-week extension of benefits for unemployed workers in New Mexico, where 7.5 percent of residents are unemployed – up from 4.3 percent a year ago.

“These benefits are a lifeline for hardworking Americans who are out of work through no fault of their own and are struggling to find stable, good-paying jobs to support themselves and their families. By extending this insurance, more Americans will have the peace of mind and support they need while they work to get a new job. These benefits aren’t a hand out – they are a benefit earned through years of hard work by people facing extraordinarily difficult circumstances. Although we’re seeing signs of economic recovery, times are still very tough for displaced New Mexico workers on the front lines of this recession, and we must do everything we can to help them pull through.”