PRESIDENT OBAMA SIGNS NAACP-SUPPORTED BILL TO
EXTEND UNEMPLOYED WORKERS' BENEFITS THROUGH JUNE 2010
PRESIDENT SIGNS CRUCIAL UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION BILL ON THURSDAY, THE SAME DAY IT PASSED BOTH THE U.S. HOUSE AND THE SENATE
On Thursday, April 15, 2010, President Obama signed H.R. 4851, the Continuing Extension Act of 2010, legislation to provide up to 99 weekly unemployment checks averaging $335 to people whose 26 weeks of state-paid benefits have run out. This bill is expected to help the hundreds of thousands of Americans who are currently considered to be "long-term unemployed". It's a temporary extension through June 2. He signed the bill on the same day Congress acted: the Senate passed it by a margin of 59 yeas to 38 nays and the House passed it by a margin of 289 yeas to 112 nays. The House had passed similar legislation in mid-March, but needed to pass this bill again as it was slightly changed due largely to the length of time it took the Senate to act.
As of April 5, 2010, unemployed people who had exhausted their states' jobless benefits were unable to receive additional benefits under the federal program. 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.
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