NAACP Calls for Swift Passage of Extension of Federal Unemployment Benefits
As of April 5, 2010, unemployed people who had exhausted their states' jobless benefits were unable to receive additional benefits under the federal program. Sadly, although legislation to extend federal unemployment benefits (H.R. 4851, the Continuing Extension Act of 2010) has passed the U.S. House of Representatives on March 17, 2010, several Senators objected to the measure and it was therefore stalled until this week. Fortunately yesterday (April 12, 2010) the Senate voted, by a margin of 60 yeas to 34 nays, to end debate and therefore move forward on the bill. Specifically, H.R. 4851 would extend unemployment insurance, subsidies for the COBRA health insurance program and federal flood insurance through May 5, 2010. Final passage on the legislation is likely to take place later this week.
While the NAACP appreciates concerns about the current size of the national deficit, blocking unemployment insurance is not the proper place to make a stand. It is unfair, indecent and inhumane for the government not to assist those whose very lives may be at stake. With unemployment rates still too high - the national unemployment rate in March 2010 was 9.7%, and among African Americans the rate was 16.5% -- extending unemployment benefits is not only logical, it is the morally right thing to do.
THE NAACP URGES ALL U.S. SENATORS TO SUPPORT AN EXTENSION OF FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS WHEN THE FINAL VOTE ON H.R. 4851 OCCURS LATER THIS WEEK