Congresswoman Hirono Votes To Extend Unemployment Benefits for 6,000 Laid-off Workers in Hawaii

Congresswoman Hirono Votes To Extend Unemployment Benefits for 6,000 Laid-off Workers in Hawaii

Washington, Jul 1, 2010

Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) today voted in support of legislation that will provide a critical extension on expanded unemployment benefits to laid-off workers through the end of November.  The original legislation expired on May 31, 2010. As a result, an estimated 6,000 laid-off workers in Hawaii will lose their unemployment benefits by July 3. The Restoration of Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act, H.R. 5618, will restore those benefits retroactive to June 2, 2010. The U.S. House passed the bill by a vote of 270 yeas to 153 nays and awaits Senate action.

“We need to provide Hawaii’s laid-off workers with financial help now,” said Congresswoman Hirono. “This week, I got a phone call from a Hilo man who works in construction, but who can’t find a job. He has owned his home for more than a decade and never missed a payment. But, he sees what’s around the corner if he doesn’t receive help. We’re not going to turn our backs on these hard-working people.”

This bill extends, through November 30, 2010, eligibility for unemployment insurance for laid-off workers.  A projected 1.7 million Americans are in the process of losing their unemployment benefits with the lapse of the original law.

The extension of unemployment benefits had been included in an earlier jobs bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on May 28, 2010. The Senate was unable to get the 60 votes needed to bring that bill to a vote.

“I hope the Senate will be able to muster the necessary votes this time to help people who want to work but cannot find jobs during this difficult period,” said Hirono.