Menendez on Republican Obstructionism of Unemployment Insurance Extension

Menendez on Republican Obstructionism of Unemployment Insurance Extension

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez issued this statement following the Senate vote on extending emergency unemployment insurance which expired at the end of 2013:

"It's been 40 days since temporary unemployment insurance was cut off for more than 1.7 million job seekers and once again Republicans have said no to hard working Americans who desperately need a helping hand. And those 40 days of Republican obstruction have cost us dearly as more and more families move closer to the brink of disaster and our economy loses billions in economic activity.

"The more than 100,000 New Jerseyans who've have had this lifeline pulled out from under them are not looking for a handout - they just want a job. Just ask Noel, a single mom from Atlantic County just trying to raise her two sons, who wrote me and said:

'I took care of children in my home to pay the bills and avoid childcare costs. In 2000 when my children were of school age I found a minimum wage seasonal job and worked hard to become a permanent employee. I worked even harder to rise up in the organization and became a respected manager. When that company went bankrupt in 2009 I found another job within two weeks taking a large pay-cut and making far less than I would have made on unemployment. I stayed with that company for four years until I was laid off in July 2013.

I didn't shrug my shoulders and give up. For the following 26 weeks I sought employment. I have joined every employment website I could find and I applied for any job remotely within my limited job skills. Unfortunately, the responses I have gotten have not been encouraging. Thirteen years of retail experience including nine years of management experience translates into few opportunities. No one will consider me for entry level positions based on my previous experience.

No, I do not think unemployment should be a way of life. No, I do not think 3 MILLION unemployed Americans are going to find jobs in 26 weeks.

"It's time for Republicans to stop saying no.We owe Noel -- and 3 million unemployed Americans -- a chance."


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