Lujan Grisham Urges Extension of Federal Unemployment Insurance

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham


WASHINGTON, D.C. – With 1.3 million Americans losing all of their federal unemployment insurance Dec. 28, Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, N.M.-01, is urging an extension of the program.

Friday, she announced that she is cosponsoring the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2013 (H.R.3546), legislation that would extend the current Emergency Unemployment Compensation program through the end of 2014. In addition to the 6,000 long-term unemployed New Mexicans who are slated to lose their unemployment insurance Saturday, an additional 9,700 New Mexicans would lose access to unemployment insurance in the first six months of 2014.

“As many New Mexicans struggle to get back on their feet … this is the wrong time to leave our friends and neighbors out in the cold,” Lujan Grisham said. “Failure to act could create negative ripple effects throughout our state’s economy that make it difficult for small businesses to grow, jobseekers to find work and families to stay in their homes. That’s why I’m urging Congress to pass the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act without delay.”

The federal unemployment insurance program took effect in 2008 and has been reauthorized several times as the economy continues its recovery. Despite the real progress the economy has made since its near collapse in 2008, there are still 1.3 million fewer jobs than there were before the recession began and long-term unemployment as a percentage of the unemployed is 37 percent – far higher than during previous recessions.

Failure to extend federal unemployment insurance would also hurt job growth in New Mexico and throughout the nation, costing the economy 200,000 jobs, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.