Two pieces of news provide a flicker of hope amid the doom and gloom.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 -- The Ranking Democratic Member of the House Ways and Means Committee issued the following news release:
Ways and Means Committee Democrats today released a new state-by-state analysis that projects the U.S. economy will lose more than $3 billion in January and February alone due to the Dec. 28 expiration of federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation. More than 1.8 million Americans have now been cut off extended unemployment insurance because Republicans continue to block an extension of the program. The House will not reconvene until February 25.
The state-by-state projections for the two-month period are based on the total federal unemployment insurance that Americans received in each state during the last two months of 2013. Nationwide, nearly 72,000 people are losing unemployment insurance, on average, every week - adding to the 1.8 million Americans who have already lost their benefits. House Republicans have blocked multiple efforts by Democrats to bring up legislation to extend the federal unemployment benefits on the House floor. Senate Republicans this month also voted twice to block legislation to extend these benefits, including a bill that was completely paid for.
November and December Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) data are not available for Louisiana, Massachusetts, Montana, and Nevada and therefore the most recent two months of available data were used for the calculation in those states.
"The loss of long-term unemployment benefits is weighing down our economy at a critical point in the economic recovery, threatening to inflict long-term damage," said Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI). "Long-term unemployment remains an enormous challenge for millions of Americans and our overall economy, which is exactly why Republicans should join with Democrats to renew this important program."
Table omitted. Click here to view: http://democrats.waysandmeans.house.gov/press-release/expiration-federal-unemployment-benefits-cost-economy-over-3-billion-january-and
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