Congressman Johnson votes to extend unemployment insurance, highway jobs investment
Temporary Extension Act will extend key programs through April 5; Johnson urges colleagues to act:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, Congressman Johnson voted for the Temporary Extension Act, a bill to extend federal unemployment benefits and job-creation investment in highway construction. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives.
The legislation will extend unemployment benefits, COBRA health insurance for the unemployed, federal investment in highway construction, small business loan guarantees, and several other federal programs..
Congressman Johnson urged his colleagues to support the legislation, which will support job creation and provide relief for those who still cannot find work. “We must remain dedicated to job creation and support for the suffering,” said Johnson. “Our constituents are counting on us.”
As of Friday, Republican Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky's filibuster was blocking passage of this emergency measure, despite serious consequences for families across the nation.
Without the proposed extension, benefits to about 8,000 laid-off Georgia workers currently receiving state extended benefits will be cut off starting Monday, said state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond.
The following programs would be extended by the bill:
-- Unemployment Insurance: Extends unemployment benefits, including the increased payouts and longer duration of benefits from the Recovery Act through April 5.
-- Help with Health Insurance for Unemployed Workers (COBRA): Extends the COBRA health insurance subsidy for people who have lost their jobs through March 28.
-- Surface Transportation Authorization: Authorizes the highway, highway safety, transit and motor carrier safety programs of the Department of Transportation through March 28.
-- Medicare Physician Payments: Delays a scheduled 21.2% cut in Medicare physician payments to protect Medicare beneficiaries’ access to physicians through March 28.
-- Small Business Loans: Extends two temporary improvements to the Small Business Administration’s loan guarantee program, raising the percentage of loan amounts that the SBA can guarantee and allowing SBA to waive or reduce loan fees through March 28.
-- Flood Insurance: Extends the National Flood Insurance Program authorization through March 28.
-- Satellite Television: Extends the compulsory copyright license used by satellite television providers through March 28.