HARRISBURG – Gov. Edward G. Rendell has urged the U.S. Congress to again extend unemployment benefits for the millions of jobless Americans who are still looking for new work as the economic recovery continues to pick up steam.
The Governor said U.S. House Republicans blocked a three-month extension of unemployment assistance late last week, which would mean 83,000 long-term jobless Pennsylvania residents would lose vital benefits just after Thanksgiving weekend.
“The message from House Republicans is clear: they care more about partisanship than helping struggling Americans keep their children fed and a roof over their heads,” Rendell said. “We’re not talking about welfare; these are insurance benefits for which people have paid all their working lives. And we’re talking about providing temporary help for hardworking people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.
“When House members sit down to Thanksgiving dinner with their families next week, I hope they remember to say a prayer for the tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians who will lose benefits next month because Congress failed to do the right thing.
“We’ve seen that federal investments in our nation’s economic recovery are paying dividends, especially in light of how the resurgent General Motors has made a strong comeback with the help of American taxpayers,” Rendell added.
“Those individual taxpayers deserve an equal chance to rebuild their lives, and Congress must not miss this opportunity to help them do so.”
Governor Rendell noted that the U.S. House will have another opportunity to consider the extension on Nov. 29, a day before the current extension expires.
“Although key indicators show the recovery is underway, it will still take more time for that recovery to find its way to every American family. Until it does, Congress has a responsibility to stand by those at greatest need,” the Governor said.