Klobuchar: Minnesotans Will Receive Extension of Unemployment Benefits

Thursday, November 5th, 2009 at 6:59 am

Washington, D.C. – With unemployment benefits set to expire for thousands of Minnesotans by the end of the year, the U.S. Senate passed a bill, cosponsored by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, to extend an additional 14 weeks of benefits for jobless workers in Minnesota.  Last night, Klobuchar gave a speech on the Senate floor about the importance of passing the extension.  The Senate passed the measure 98 to 0 to extend unemployment benefits.

“By passing this legislation, we are giving more than a million jobless Americans the boost they need to get back on their feet, and keep going as they face a challenging job market,” said Klobuchar. “Wall Street is starting to recover, but we need to make sure our workforce is strong and recovering as well.”

Klobuchar has worked tirelessly to ensure that Minnesotans were included in legislation to extend unemployment benefits.  Previous proposals failed to include states with unemployment rates below 8.5 percent.  Klobuchar, along with 17 of her colleagues, called on Senate leaders and the Senate Finance Committee to include all states in the extension of unemployment benefits.  Just last night, Klobuchar went to the Senate floor to again urge for the bill’s passage.

“With each passing day without an extension, more and more Americans are losing the last lifeline they had to keep their heads above water in this difficult economy,” said Klobuchar on the Senate floor. “People in my state say: ‘the unemployment rate may be 7.3 percent in Minnesota, but in my house it’s 100 percent.”

The bill passed by the Senate would extend unemployment insurance up to 14 more weeks for unemployed workers in all states. Additionally, in states with unemployment rates at 8.5 percent or above, workers who have exhausted their unemployment benefits would receive an additional six weeks.  According to the Finance Committee, the additional unemployment benefits would be fully offset.

The Senate bill must be approved by the U.S. House of Representatives before going to the President to be signed into law.

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