WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 8, 2014) – Congresswoman Kaptur today urged quick House action on legislation to extend unemployment benefits. The Senate has passed a bill to extend unemployment insurance to approximately 1.3 Americans who lost their benefits at the end of 2013.

“Extending benefits should be the first order of business in the new year,” said Congresswoman Kaptur. “The failure to extend benefits is putting a tremendous hardship on families who are struggling to survive and are very vulnerable.”

She cited a report showing that expiration of extended benefits took $400 million out of the national economy last week alone, including $12.2 million from Ohio.

An analysis by House Ways and Means Democrats showed that 39,100 Ohioans lost their benefits during the last week of December.  The average weekly benefit lost was $311.82.

“Families receiving unemployment benefits generally spend the money quickly on essentials such as food and shelter,” said Congresswoman Kaptur.  “Taking this money out of the economy has a deep impact on our region.”

Kaptur noted that Ohio is one of only five states where unemployment is rising.

“Failing to extend benefits hits Ohio particularly hard,” she said.  “This is a major piece of unfinished business.”

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated the failure to extend benefits will cost the U.S. economy 200,000 jobs this year.