Press Releases

Houlahan to Leadership: Take Action on Unemployment Insurance

Washington, August 20, 2020

WASHINGTON – Today, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) announced that she, along with 113 members of the New Democrat Coalition, of which she is the Freshman Leadership Representative, sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer urging them to take action to extend unemployment insurance and stabilize this system.

“Even as areas of our community work to safely reopen, millions of Americans are still relying on unemployment insurance to make ends meet during this public health crisis,” said Houlahan. “As I head to DC to vote on Postal Service legislation this weekend, I believe we also need to take swift action to extend unemployment insurance.”

In the letter, Members are asking for House consideration of legislation to reauthorize the enhanced unemployment compensation and establish unemployment insurance automatic stabilizers for the duration of the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis. Specifically, Members recommend consideration of the NDC-supported Worker Relief and Security Act, which was introduced by Reps. Don Beyer, Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, and Derek Kilmer, Chair of the New Democrat Coalition.

The Worker Relief and Security Act would extend the $600 weekly federal unemployment compensation benefits through the duration of the national COVID-19 public health emergency, provide for unlimited unemployment coverage weeks through January 2021, and then continue providing enhanced compensation and additional coverage weeks determined by national and state total unemployment rates. Yesterday, the Department of Labor announced that there were more than 1.1 million new unemployment claims filed last week.

The letter reads:

“As Democrats, we know how important it is to get aid to the people who need it most. While there are various proposals to extend unemployment benefits, the only way to provide financial relief to millions of Americans without being subject to political hurdles, is to enact automatic stabilizers for unemployment benefits. By passing legislation that ties unemployment benefits to economic triggers, we can ensure that aid is restored to those who need it and prevent future lapses as long as the economy tells us aid is needed.”

Read the full letter here.

Houlahan is an Air Force veteran, an engineer, a serial entrepreneur, an educator, and a nonprofit leader. She’s in her first term representing Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, which encompasses Chester County and southern Berks County. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House Small Business Committee.