WASHINGTON, DC -- Today, Congressman Mike Michaud called upon House leadership to immediately act to renew emergency long-term unemployment benefits, which expired in December. New analysis released yesterday shows that the expiration of the program will have cost the Maine economy $7.8 million in January and February alone.
"Failure to renew emergency unemployment benefits is taking a very real toll on Mainers struggling to make ends meet and on our state's economy. By the end of February, expiration of these important benefits will have cost Maine's economy nearly $8 million." said Michaud. "Speaker Boehner should immediately call the House back into session and hold a vote to provide relief to Americans trying to put food on the table."
In most states, including Maine, eligible unemployed workers can receive up to 26 weeks of benefits from state-funded unemployment compensation programs. Since 2008, the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program has provided workers who have exhausted their state benefits with additional assistance.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 18,000 Mainers could lose their benefits by the end of 2014. Michaud is a cosponsor of legislation that would extend the program for one year. The House is not scheduled to reconvene until Tuesday, February 25.