Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34) submitted the following statement into the congressional record July 22 following the final passage in Congress of legislation to extend unemployment benefits to millions of Americans.The legislation passed the House on July 22 by a vote of 272, and was sent to President Obama for his signature into law. "Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act. This legislation will extend unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, which expired seven long weeks ago, to millions of Americans families who rely on this assistance to make ends meet during these difficult economic times. I regret that due to Republican objections, delays and stalling tactics, Unemployment Compensation was allowed to lapse for so long. My colleagues in the House of Representatives and I have already passed this legislation three times since May. Unfortunately, the bill was allowed to languish in the Senate while millions of Americans were forced to do without this critical lifeline. With unemployment in Los Angeles County hovering at 12.2 percent, I continue to hear from my constituents how important these benefits are to them as they look for new employment during these difficult economic times. One constituent, a college graduate who lives in Los Angeles, wrote to inform me that he has been searching for a job for 18 months without success. He has long since run out of savings and without unemployment benefits cannot pay his rent. Another constituent, a mother of three children, was recently laid off and is relying on unemployment benefits to pay her mortgage payments and keep a roof over her family's head. It is for hardworking Americans like these, making good faith efforts to secure employment and trying desperately to find some stability in these uncertain times, that I vote for this important measure. While we act today to protect the unemployed and their families, I believe we must redouble our efforts to create job opportunities and get Americans back to work."
********** Published: July 29, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 15