WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) voted to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program that expired for nearly 6,000 New Mexican job-seekers on December 28, 2013. The bill, S.1845, the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act, passed a procedural vote today of 60 to 37. The measure now moves to debate.
"Extending federal unemployment insurance means thousands of hardworking New Mexicans who lost their jobs through no fault of their own have a vital economic lifeline," said Sen. Heinrich. "It's critical that Congress act immediately to extend these benefits for those who need them most. Failing to act will take a toll not only on New Mexicans looking for work, but will also have negative consequences for the broader economy."
The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act, sponsored by U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Dean Heller (R-NV), would reinstate and continue federal support for unemployment insurance (UI), effective January 1, 2014, for an additional three months, preventing the expiration of benefits for 1.3 million Americans.
If the EUC program is not extended this year, more than 15,000 additional New Mexican workers looking for a job, who are currently in the state Unemployment Compensation (UC) program, could also exhaust their 26 weeks of UC benefits and would be denied access to additional federal unemployment benefits. Because of the loss of a job suddenly breaks off income, and compromises families' ability to spend on their most basic household needs, unemployment insurance keeps families afloat and keeps them contributing to the local economy.