Roll Call: Local senators' votes on unemployment benefits

By: NewsCenter 16 staff Email
By: NewsCenter 16 staff Email

Folks who lost their long-term unemployment benefits last year could soon see some relief. The senate passed a bill this week that would retroactively pay those benefits through May.

Long-term benefits cover those who have been out of work longer than 26 weeks. The bill affects 2.75 million Americans, including 40,000 Hoosiers and 106,000 people in Michigan.

Senators Carl Levin (D - Michigan) and Debbie Stabenow (D – Michigan) both voted in favor of the bill, along with Senator Joe Donnelly (D – Indiana).

“There are still too many Hoosiers out of work, and we need to make sure families have food on the table while mom or dad looks for a job,” Donnelly said.

Senator Dan Coats (R – Indiana) voted no. He issued the following statement explaining his vote:
"I support helping those truly in need, but the unemployment insurance benefits program needs to be reformed to ensure that it works better and is connecting those who are unemployed with available jobs."

The bill still needs approval from the House of Representatives to become law, and House Speaker John Boehner hasn't agreed to bring it up for a vote. He says it doesn't do enough to address job creation.

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