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(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen announced today that she has cosponsored legislation, the Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act (S.1647), to extend unemployment benefits to workers in all 50 states who are still looking for employment in this economic recession. The U.S. House of Representatives passed unemployment insurance legislation this week that does not provide benefits to unemployed workers in all states.

"This is a national economic crisis, and unemployed workers in New Hampshire should be treated the same as workers in any other state," said Shaheen. "Issue number one has been and must remain helping working Americans to weather this economic storm, and that's why I believe we must treat every unemployed worker fairly.  I am working with my Senate colleagues to make sure New Hampshire workers are able to receive unemployment compensation while they get back on their feet."

Unemployment compensation was extended under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), but for many workers these benefits are set to expire at the end of September and for many more at the end of the year. Under the legislation passed by the House, only states with unemployment rates of 8.5% or higher would qualify for the extension. New Hampshire would not meet this threshold. Under the Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act, unemployment insurance benefits would be extended for workers in all states.