DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Statement on Senate GOP Blocking Unemployment Insurance

“Today, Republicans failed to extend a lifeline for Americans who are working to find jobs. These are Americans with skills, a desire to work, and in many cases, a family to support. Unemployment benefits make it possible for them to pay their bills and put food on the table. But because of Republicans’ refusal to extend unemployment insurance benefits, millions of job-seeking Americans face a harsh and uncertain future.

“For all the recent talk by Republican leaders about reducing income inequality, today’s vote reveals the emptiness of that rhetoric. And this is only the most recent rejection of the essential social safety net by a Republican Party that has a shameful record when it comes to encouraging economic mobility and reducing income inequality. The GOP has opposed Democrats’ efforts to raise the minimum wage, and said no to Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act, which has extended the promise of health care to millions. The failure to extend unemployment insurance benefits has the potential to cost the nation’s economy 240,000 jobs in the year to come.

“Adding insult to injury, Republicans’ opposition to extended unemployment benefits is bad policy. In 2012, unemployment benefits kept 2.5 million people out of poverty, including 600,000 children. Democrats will continue to fight to restore these crucial benefits until American workers are back on their feet. We need our friends across the aisle to join us.”