October 06, 2009

(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today announced details of an amendment to the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act (H.R. 3548) that would extend unemployment for workers in all 50 states by 17 weeks.  The Shaheen amendment, which she plans to introduce later this week, would lower the unemployment trigger so that eligible workers in every state would receive a much-needed unemployment benefit extension. 

"Jobless workers in every state of this nation are facing the worst job market we have seen since the Great Depression," said Shaheen.  "Until the job market improves, we have a responsibility to help unemployed workers continue to pay their mortgage, keep food on the table, and purchase other essentials.  This is not only good for workers, it is vital to our economy.  That's why we must pass an unemployment benefit extension without delay."

The Shaheen amendment would offer jobless workers in all 50 states an additional 17 weeks of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) by lowering the eligibility threshold.  The cost of the legislation would be offset by extending the Federal Unemployment Tax by an additional 4-6 months beyond the underlying bill. 

"This should not be about statistics.  This is about people," added Shaheen.  "Distinctions in state unemployment rates may make sense in Washington, but they don't make sense in New Hampshire and they don't make sense to the 15 million unemployed workers nationwide who are struggling to get by and get back to work."

Last week, Shaheen and 17 colleagues sent a letter to Senate leadership urging an equitable extension of unemployment benefits. 

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