Today, the Senate voted to extend unemployment benefits for millions of Americans. As expected, Republicans Senators voted to deny Americans this vital lifeline as they search for a job and struggle to support their families.
On December 28th, 1.3 million Americans nationwide lost their unemployment insurance –including 6,000 New Mexicans who are losing an average weekly benefit of $288.66. In the first half of 2014 another 9,700 more New Mexicans will lose this aid. If that wasn’t enough, states are also losing money every week because of this lapse in unemployment benefits -so far New Mexico has suffered an economic impact of $1,731,960.
DPNM Chairman Sam Bregman stated, “Whether it’s shutting down the government, opposing increasing the minimum wage, trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, taking away food stamps or this latest blow taking away unemployment insurance from Americans in need, Republicans continue putting partisan obstructionism ahead of the well-being of their constituents and the good of the economy.”
He added, “In 2012 alone, unemployment insurance lifted 2.5 million Americans out of poverty. At a time when the unemployment rate is still unacceptably high, and as we continue our work to create more good paying jobs, it is essential that we extend unemployment benefits to the millions of Americans who still need and rely on them. Republicans need to put the well-being of their constituents first and stop playing with Americans’ lives. Thanks to Senator Udall and Senator Heinrich, the measure to extend unemployment insurance will move along and be one step closer to restoring this vital lifeline for millions of Americans in need.”