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Schatz fights for Emergency Unemployment Insurance

MEDIA RELEASE

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and Senate Leaders are fighting to include an extension of unemployment insurance in budget negotiations in order to prevent benefits from lapsing Dec. 31, 2013.

If unemployment insurance lapses, 1,900 people in Hawaii would immediately lose crucial emergency unemployment benefits, and an additional 5,800 Hawaii citizens would lose out on future benefits.

“Hawaii families expect the federal government to be there when they fall on hard times,” Schatz said. “People pay into the unemployment insurance system while working and it’s a vital lifeline when they need it. Yet Republicans are willing to abruptly cut off emergency benefits that have helped thousands of Hawaii families put food on the table when they needed it the most. I will fight to include unemployment insurance in our next budget for the thousands of Hawaii families who need it while they get back on their feet.”

There are more than 60,000 unemployed people in Hawaii. About 7,700 people would be affected by the expiration of the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.

Budget negotiators are working to finalize a budget agreement that would replace some sequester cuts before the House of Representatives adjourns Dec. 13.

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