(RELEASE): FOLLOWING SENATE VOTE ON UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, BROWN POINTS TO NEW REPORT SHOWING THAT OHIO ECONOMY HAS LOST MORE THAN $66 MILLION SINCE JOBLESS BENEFITS EXPIRED
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Contact: Meghan Dubyak/Yianni Varonis 202-224-3978
FOLLOWING SENATE VOTE ON UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, Brown POINTS TO NEW REPORT SHOWING THAT Ohio Economy Has Lost More Than $66 Million Since JOBLESS Benefits Expired
Brown Continues Fight to Extend Unemployment Insurance for 128,000 Ohioans; Since 2008, Benefits Have Saved More than 6,500 Ohio Jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, following a procedural vote by Senate Republicans blocking consideration of a bill to extend unemployment insurance, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) pointed to a new report showing that Ohio's economy has lost more than $66 million since benefits expired after 2013. Brown offered the following statement:
"There's an urgent need to extend unemployment insurance for 1.6 million hardworking Americans," Brown said. "Since these benefits have expired, Ohio's economy has lost more than $66 million and 52,000 Ohioans have struggled to pay their bills and feed their families. My colleagues and I have proposed a deal that would pay for an extension in a responsible fashion that has received bipartisan support in the past. Now it is time for both parties to come together and get this done."
Senate Democrats have proposed paying for a three-month extension by reforming pensions through a process called "pension smoothing." In the short term, this plan would raise government revenues by giving businesses more capital to invest; and in the long term, would increase individual pensions by raising company contributions over that same period. Pension smoothing, which was originally proposed by Republicans, has historically garnered bipartisan support.
In total, more than 52,000 Ohioans were immediately stripped of their Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits as a result of an extension not passing or their 63 weeks of eligibility for the program expiring. By the end of 2014, another 76,000 Ohioans will lose their emergency unemployment insurance if an extension is not passed.
The EUC program was authorized by Congress in 2008 and has supported more than 790,000 Ohioans. In 2012, unemployment benefits helped keep about 600,000 Ohio children further away from poverty. Just in Ohio:
. If unemployment insurance is not extended, more than 128,000 Ohioans would lose their benefits, including 52,000 who have already lost benefits;
. Since 2008, more than 6,500 Ohio jobs have been saved due to EUC benefits;
. The average weekly unemployment benefits in Ohio is $318; and
. The maximum weekly unemployment benefits in Ohio is $413.