Senate Passes Merkley-Backed Extension of Emergency Unemployment Insurance

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate today passed legislation cosponsored by Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley and a bipartisan group of Senators to extend emergency federal unemployment benefits.

The bipartisan legislation covers workers who have been looking for work for more than six months and includes retroactive payments to those who were cut off when the program expired on December 28.

“In Oregon and across the nation, families looking for work need a bridge that will help get them to the next job,” said Merkley. “The U.S. Senate did the right thing by voting to restore a stronger bridge for periods of high unemployment. Now the House of Representatives must act. This is not just another bill that the House can lock in the basement and throw away the key.”

The legislation passed today seeks to strengthen the U.S. economy while providing vulnerable job seekers and their families with a vital lifeline as they continue to look for work.  The proposal is fully paid for and does not add to the deficit. Approximately 30,000 Oregonians have been cut off from unemployment benefits and stand to benefit from the bill.