WASHINGTON - Today Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) voted to restore and extend federal unemployment benefits and other critical programs to help families and communities during these challenging economic times. The Continuing Extension Act of 2010 would extend unemployment insurance benefits through June 2, 2010 and eligibility for COBRA health benefits through May 31, 2010. The legislation also extends these benefits retroactively so that families will receive the benefits that were suspended when these programs expired earlier this month. The Senate passed the measure by a vote of 59 to 38 and it now goes back to the House for swift consideration there.
"It is critically important that Americans who are struggling to find work continue to receive unemployment benefits," said Senator Carper. "The respected economist Mark Zandi recently testified that extending unemployment benefits has been the most effective, high 'bang for our buck' economic recovery measure undertaken during the past two years. I couldn't agree more. This extension will provide immediate relief to individuals and families throughout Delaware who have exhausted, or are on the verge of exhausting, their unemployment benefits. The families who receive these benefits will put this money right back into our communities as they buy groceries, fill their cars with gas, and pay their bills.
"Even as Congress continues to extend benefits, I believe we should also examine ways to update our unemployment insurance system for the modern, entrepreneurial economy. A number of reforms have been proposed, such as expanding current unemployment initiatives to encourage unemployment beneficiaries to start their own business and encourage more states to adopt work-share programs to avoid lay-offs. In the coming months I look forward to working with my colleagues as we look at ways to encourage economic growth and business development."
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this release mistakenly said the Continuing Extension Act of 2010 would extend unemployment insurance benefits and COBRA eligibility through May 5, 2010. It would extend unemployment insurance benefits through June 2, 2010 and eligibility for COBRA benefits through May 31, 2010.