Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson Joins Effort to Force House Republicans to Allow a Vote on the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act
Washington, DC – (Wednesday, March 12, 2014) – Today, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson took action to force an up-or-down vote on key legislation that would extend unemployment insurance for more than two million Americans. Congresswoman Johnson joined her colleagues in signing a discharge petition to bring up the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act (H.R. 3546). The bill extends emergency unemployment insurance for nearly five million Americans looking for work through the end of the year.
“The time is now for action on unemployment insurance. Too many Americans and more than 100,000 Texans have been suffering too long,” said Congresswoman Johnson. “In this time of economic recovery, our state cannot afford to lose the $171 million in economic activity that has been lost in the first two months of this year due to the 105,000 Texans that were cut off from unemployment insurance.”
“Despite repeated efforts from the Democrats in the House of Representatives, Republicans in Congress have callously refused to restore this vital economic lifeline that helps people support their families and pay their bills while they look for a new job.”
The number of people who have lost their unemployment benefits as a result of the program’s Dec. 28 expiration surpassed two million last week, according to a new analysis from Ways and Means Committee Democrats. Every week, 72,000 people, on average, are losing their unemployment benefits nationwide without an extension of the program.
Despite the growing struggles, House Republicans have blocked multiple efforts by Democrats to bring up legislation to extend the program on the House floor. Last month a Senate measure to extend the program came one vote short of the 60 votes necessary to move forward legislation. To overcome this opposition, today Democrats launched a discharge petition to force action on this widely supported legislation.
U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson is the ranking member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the highest-ranking Texan on the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure. She represents the 30th Congressional District of Texas, which includes Downtown Dallas, Fair Park, Kessler Park, Old East Dallas, Pleasant Grove, South Dallas & South Oak Cliff; all of Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville, Hutchins, Lancaster & Wilmer and parts of Ferris, Glenn Heights, South Grand Prairie, Oak Lawn, Ovilla, Uptown/Victory Park and West Dallas.