Extending unemployment benefits cannot wait (Sen. Jeanne Shaheen)

For nearly two weeks, I have been working with Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and many of my fellow Senators to pass the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act to help struggling families across the country. With almost 2 million Americans in danger of losing their benefits by the end of this year, this bill extends unemployment benefits by up to 14 weeks in all 50 states and by an additional six weeks in states with the highest unemployment rates.

This issue should be simple. However, some Senators on the other side of the aisle appear to think that scoring political points is more important than helping working families who are about to have their safety net pulled out from under them.

They’re playing politics while 7,000 workers a day run out of benefits.  These benefits put food on the table, pay the mortgage, and help keep our economy going. This extension will help millions of Americans, and it will stimulate our economy by getting money into the hands of people who will spend it immediately.

Every day I hear from people in New Hampshire and across the country who want to know why the Senate isn’t acting quickly to extend unemployment benefits. They are facing the worst job market since the Great Depression; they are hardworking people who need to take care of their families and pay their bills; they are jobless workers who want to go back to work but cannot find a job. This is about people, not politics. We must act now to do the right thing.