For Immediate Release: July 01, 2010

Lawmakers' Inaction on Unemployment Extension and Jobs Bill Puts Recovery at Risk

Following is a statement by Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst at CLASP, regarding Congress adjourning this week without passing emergency unemployment insurance legislation and failing to act on a broader jobs creation bill that included provisions to aid vulnerable families.

"The latest unemployment numbers will be out Friday morning, and many experts project the numbers will not be good. Yet in spite of record high long-term unemployment, widespread economic insecurity, and a fragile economic recovery, lawmakers repeatedly have failed to address the nation's pressing needs.

"The Department of Labor projects more than 2 million people will lose their benefits as of July 3 due to the Senate's failure to pass an unemployment extension.  But this isn't just about numbers. These are 2 million individuals, many with families, who are relying on unemployment benefits to make ends meet and put food on the table while they search for permanent employment. They don't have the luxury of going on recess and ignoring the nation's unemployment crisis.

"This latest inaction is insult on top on injury. The House passed a more comprehensive measure in late May that extended unemployment insurance benefits but also included other provisions to aid individuals and families hardest hit by the recent recession and it's lingering effects. But due to a Republic filibuster, the bill never reached the Senate floor for a vote.

"Too many families are struggling. Without the unemployment extension and provisions in the broader jobs bill, state governments will cut spending on critical social services and risk undermining the fragile economic recovery.  Congress should find another vehicle to move these needed provisions as soon as they return."

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