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Coats Statement on Unemployment Insurance Benefits Vote

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) today voted against ending debate on the Unemployment Insurance Extension bill after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) refused to allow debate and votes on Republican solutions to pay for and reform the unemployment insurance program.

“I have consistently said that any extension of unemployment insurance benefits must be paid for responsibly and include credible reforms to improve the program,” said Coats. “In good faith, I joined with a group of Republicans to offer reasonable proposals. Rather than work with us to find common ground, the majority leader once again chose to reject our ideas and block action on amendments to improve and pay for this legislation."

Senator Coats has offered and supported a number of amendments to the bill, including one that would strengthen existing requirements to ensure unemployment benefits are going to individuals actively trying to return to the labor force. The Coats amendment would prohibit individuals from receiving Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits if they fail to accept any offer of suitable work or if they refuse to apply for suitable work referred to them by a state employment agency. States would have the flexibility to enforce this requirement consistent with their state laws.   

The expanded emergency unemployment benefits program was a temporary program first created after the fiscal crisis of 2008. In a vote of 55 to 43, the Senate voted down an effort to end debate on the legislation to extend the benefits, short of the 60 votes necessary to complete action on the bill.

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