WASHINGTON, DC -- As Congress returns to session this week, Congressman Mike Michaud is renewing his calls to Speaker John Boehner to take up bipartisan legislation that would provide much- needed economic relief to 9,000 Mainers and nearly 3 million Americans. The unemployment benefits extension passed the Senate with bipartisan support earlier this month. Rep. Michaud wrote to Speaker Boehner immediately following Senate passage, urging him to act on the legislation before the House left for Easter recess. Speaker Boehner did not take action, and as a direct result thousands of Mainers went another month without any economic relief.
"Enough is enough. Mainers understand better than most the value of working hard, but families have to be able to meet basic financial obligations while looking for a job," said Michaud. "There are thousands of hardworking Mainers who paid into the system when they had a job, and they should be able to benefit from that while they look for work. Republicans and Democrats both agree that we need to ensure that those Americans who are still struggling to find a job can pay their mortgages and feed their kids -- but for some reason Republican leadership in the House hasn't gotten the memo yet."
Each week that passes without action, more than 70,000 additional Americans lose their benefits. To tackle this problem, Rep. Michaud is co-sponsoring a House companion bill to the Senate-passed extension. Michaud also has signed a discharge petition that would force action on the legislation.
The Senate-passed legislation would strengthen efforts to help job seekers get back into the workforce and retroactively restore emergency unemployment insurance for five months.