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Congresswoman Clarke’s Statement on the Expiration of Unemployment Benefits for 244,000 New Yorkers

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on a report from the Department of Labor that unemployment benefits have expired for almost a quarter of a million people in New York State since Congress refused to extend the program.

Currently, only twenty-six weeks of unemployment benefits are available – the number of weeks were was extended in 2008 but the extension has not been renewed, even as there are almost ten million workers who are unemployed in the United States. Every week, benefits for another 72,000 people expire.  More than three million families have been adversely impacted by  the Republican refusal to extend unemployment benefits.

“The refusal of Congress to extend unemployed benefits has serious consequences for people around the United States, both the employed and the unemployed. By failing to extend benefits to workers who want to continue to search for a job and want to remain a part of the economy, we have deprived  our nation of their contributions,” said Congresswoman Clarke, who has  worked with both Democrats and Republicans to extend unemployment benefits. “It is my hope that we will at least have an opportunity to vote on extending unemployment benefits – Americans have a right to know the position of their elected representatives.”

U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.