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Dem Governors Press Congress To Fully Extend Unemployment Benefits

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Newscom

December 14, 2010

The Honorable Harry Reid The Honorable John Boehner

Majority Leader Speaker

U.S. Senate U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20510 Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Mitch McConnell The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

Minority Leader Minority Leader

U.S. Senate U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20510 Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Senator Reid, Senator McConnell, Speaker Boehner, and Representative Pelosi,

We write to urge you to swiftly pass a one-year extension of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program ("EUC") and 100% federal funding of the Extended Benefits ("EB") Program before they expire on December 31.

We are extremely concerned about the potential impact of the expiration of these programs on families and our economic recovery as a whole. Unless Congress extends these programs before adjourning for the holidays, nearly 2 million unemployed workers will lose this critical support in January 2012 alone. Now is not the time to turn our backs on hard-working Americans. Individuals who are laid off through no fault of their own rely on these funds to support their families.

Extending unemployment insurance is a critical part of our ability to speed up the economic recovery process. Unemployment insurance benefits are immediately injected back into the economy. According to the Congressional Budget Office, federally extended unemployment insurance benefits provide one of the best bangs for the buck in terms of stimulating economic growth.

Congress has never failed to act on extending federal unemployment insurance benefits when the unemployment rate has exceeded 7.2%, and we must not fail our citizens now. We urge immediate action to extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation and 100% federal funds for the Extended Benefits program through the end of 2012.

Sincerely,

Cc: Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus

Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp

House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin

Neil Abercrombie

Steve Beshear (KY)

Jerry Brown (CA)

Andrew Cuomo (NY)

Mark Dayton (MN)

John de Jongh (Virgin Islands)

Christine Gregoire (WA)

John Hickenlooper (CO)

John Kitzhaber (OR)

Daniel Malloy (CT)

Jack Markell (DE)

Martin O'Malley (MD)

Deval Patrick (MA)

Bev Perdue (NC)

Pat Quinn (IL)

Peter Shumlin (VT)

About The Author

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Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com