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The White House
For Immediate Release

WHITE HOUSE VIDEO MESSAGE: We need to Extend Unemployment Insurance


Office of the Press Secretary


EMBARGOED UNTIL 6:00 AM ET, SATURDAY, December 7, 2013

WHITE HOUSE VIDEO MESSAGE: We need to Extend Unemployment Insurance

In this week’s message, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez discussed why it is important for Congress to act to extend unemployment insurance which is critically important to Americans still looking for work. Unemployment insurance provides temporary assistance to those who really need it so they don’t fall into poverty. 

The audio of the address and video of the message is available online HERE.

Spanish Language Video Message

The White House

December 7, 2013

Hello, everyone. As we reflect on the holiday season, it’s important to remember that right now, more than one million of our fellow Americans are poised to lose a vital economic lifeline just a few days after Christmas if Congress doesn’t do something about it.

Our top priority as a country should be restoring opportunity and broad-based economic growth for all Americans.  Our economy created 203,000 jobs in the month of November. 

But there are still millions of Americans looking for work, often because they’ve been laid off through no fault of their own.  And as a country, we offer these Americans temporary assistance called unemployment insurance and we do it so that they don’t fall into poverty.

Last year alone, unemployment insurance lifted 2.5 million people out of poverty, and cushioned the blow for many more.

If Members of Congress don’t act before they leave on their vacations, 1.3 million of our friends and neighbors will lose this lifeline, including 20,000 veterans who’ve served this country with honor and countless members of the hardworking Latino workforce. While unemployment amongst Hispanics continues to decrease, it is critical not to take unemployment insurance away from Latinos who are working hard to get back on their feet.

If Congress refuses to act, it won’t just hurt families already struggling – it will actually harm our economy.  Unemployment insurance is one of the most effective ways there is to boost our economy. 

So extending unemployment insurance isn’t just the right thing to do for our families – it’s the smart thing to do for our economy. 

But now that economic lifeline is in jeopardy.  All because Republicans in this Congress have so far refused to extend it.

So this holiday season, let’s make it easier for businesses to attract more customers and for our economy to grow.  Together, let’s keep doing everything we can to make this country a place where everyone who works hard has a chance to get ahead.

Thank you very much.