Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, says efforts continue in the U.S. House to get Iowa included in the federal 13-week extension of unemployment benefits. Iowa and more than 20 other states were not included in the extension as it applies only to states with unemployment rates above 8.5%.
Braley says the sad reality is the recent announcement by the governor of a 10% across the board budget cut will led to employees being laid off and he says it will have a “significant impact” on the existing unemployment numbers in Iowa. Braley says an effort is underway to get the extension quickly through.
Braley says they are trying to get the change enacted through what’s called the “suspension calendar” in the House, which would take a two-thirds vote, but then the issue would not have to go to a committee. Braley says they are looking for the best way to get the issue going and to the floor of the House for a vote as quickly as possible.
Braley says he voted against the original bill extending the unemployment benefits because it excluded Iowa from the extension. Legislation to extend the benefits to Iowa and other states has stalled in the Senate.