2014-01-02 / News

Congressman Cicilline backs unemployment

Last week, 1.3 million Americans, including 4,900 Rhode Islanders, were shut off from receiving federal emergency unemployment benefits. Up until then, Rhode Islanders who had exhausted their 26 weeks of unemployment benefits from the state were eligible to receive an additional 47 weeks of federal benefits.

If Congress fails to extend the emergency compensation, as many as 21,700 Rhode Islanders over the course of 2014 will be affected, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Congress is back in session on Tuesday, Jan. 7. U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, who represents the first congressional district in Rhode Island, which includes Jamestown, said he will introduce a bill the minute Congress is back in session. His legislation will “retroactively extend these benefits and make sure it is paid for by eliminating unnecessary subsidies and closing corporate tax loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas.”

The Economic Policy Institute has estimated the failure to extend unemployment insurance could cost the national economy 310,000 jobs over the course of the coming year.

“The day the Republican-led Congress skipped town for the holidays, it left behind 1.3 million Americans who rely upon this assistance to survive as they continue to look for work,” said Cicilline. “Nearly 5,000 Rhode Islanders who have already exhausted their state benefits and are now without their last safety net. I’m not giving up this fight until we renew emergency unemployment benefits for people struggling to find work. We can’t turn our back on more than 1 million Americans, especially in Rhode Island where our unemployment rate is the highest in the nation.”

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