Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-Calif-23) voted to extend unemployment benefits due to expire on November 30. Although the bill garnered 258 votes, it failed because it needed a 2/3 vote to pass. Without Congressional action, unemployment benefits will expire for two million Americans by the end of the year, including over 400,000 Californians.
Of the unemployed workers in California who will lose their unemployment benefits, nearly 75,000 are exhausting their six months of state benefits. Without a federal extension, they will have their unemployment insurance cut off after just six months of looking for work. If Congress allows extended unemployment insurance to expire with the unemployment rate above 9 percent, it will be the first time it has done so in 75 years.
“I was proud to vote to extend unemployment insurance for over 400,000 Californians as we approach the holiday season. Extending unemployment insurance isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s good policy. Recipients of unemployment benefits use them immediately—to pay the rent and put food on the table—injecting demand into the economy. Also it is a shame that Republicans in the House, who are so willing to go to the mat for tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, would vote to cut off this critical assistance to struggling families. I hope that we can get this done in the coming weeks,” said Capps.