Senate Passes Unemployment Insurance Extension, Carper now Calls on House for Quick Passage

WASHINGTON, DC – Soon after Senator Tom Carper urged Congress today to extend unemployment benefits for thirteen weeks to stimulate the economy and provide assistance to the families of unemployed workers, the Senate passed the measure. To give needed assistance to unemployed workers, the House of Representatives should make its passage a top priority, Carper said. “I’m bullish on the economy, but there are people suffering today,” Carper said. “Extending unemployment benefits is the right thing to do for these families, and our economy. The Senate passed the measure – now it is up to the House.” In a speech from the Senate floor before a vote on Majority Leader Daschle’s economic stimulus plan, Carper offered a number of reasons why the economy is poised for recovery. First, Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve launched an aggressive monetary policy to ratchet down interest rates. Secondly, energy prices have dropped significantly in the last year. Thirdly, in the wake of September 11, Congress engaged in deficit spending to shorten the recession. Carper believes a 13-week extension in unemployment benefits would provide needed help to those who lost their jobs during the recession and help the economy continue to recover.