Washington, D.C. – The following is a statement by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) on the passage of the Temporary Unemployment Extension Compensation Act of 2003.
“Today, the House of Representatives voted today to provide marginal relief for unemployed Americans. I supported this bill because so many people in San Jose and the Bay Area are in need of unemployment benefits. However, we could and should have done more. We had the opportunity to help over 21,000 Santa Clara residents who are unemployed and either have exhausted their unemployment benefits or will exhaust their unemployment benefits by March 31st. But the Republican members of the House decided that if you have exhausted your unemployment benefits by December 28, you are out of luck. Since you cannot find a job, you should not get any help from the federal government. This affects over 7,500 people in Santa Clara alone, and over a million people across the country.
“This is unacceptable. Today, House Democrats tried to offer legislation to extend unemployment benefits for everyone in this country who needs extra assistance in finding a job. We offered a 26-week extension for workers who need extra assistance. We were prevented from even offering this simple measure. Our country and our region are in the middle of an economic downturn, and people in Silicon Valley need all the help they can get. According to Republicans, their job is help some, but not all.”
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren is beginning her fifth term in Congress, and she has been recently named by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to be an At-Large Whip and a member of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. She represents parts of Santa Clara County and most of the city of San Jose in Congress.