Casey calls for Congress to extend unemployment insurance

Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) called on Congress to pass legislation to extend jobless benefits into next year.

“Extending unemployment insurance will help those looking for work and produce growth in the economy,” Casey said. “Extending unemployment insurance will help those actively seeking work and provide a jolt to GDP [the gross domestic product] as we move into the new year.”

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Some liberal lawmakers are upset that Congress is set to adjourn for the year without extending unemployment insurance benefits that expire Dec. 28.

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said unemployment insurance would be one of the first things the Senate takes up when it returns in January.

Casey said he was glad the Senate would act, but criticized the House for not scheduling a vote.

“I’m pleased the Senate is set to vote on this issue soon and I’m calling on both Houses of Congress to take up and pass this legislation,” Casey said. “The pace of job growth has increased in the last few months but there are still far too many Pennsylvanians looking for work.”

House Republicans are expected to insist on spending cuts to offset the cost of extending the benefits.

The Department of Labor has estimated that nearly 1.3 million people will lose their Emergency Unemployment Compensation after Dec. 28 if Congress doesn’t act. 

The program was established to help people who have been out of work for longer than six months.