Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Contact: Andrew Zucker; 504-457-8141

STATEMENT: No Doubt Cassidy Would Have Joined Senate Minority & Blocked Extending Unemployment Insurance For Louisianians Looking For Work

New Orleans, Louisiana – Campaign for Louisiana Communications Director Andrew Zucker released the following statement today regarding Bill Cassidy’s refusal to support an extension of unemployment benefits for Louisianians looking for work:

“Given his record of repeatedly voting against critical unemployment benefits, there’s no doubt that if Cassidy were in the Senate he’d have joined a minority of Senators today and blocked crucial job relief for those Louisiana families who are struggling to find work. Bill Cassidy’s months-long refusal to support extending unemployment insurance has cost Louisiana millions and left thousands of Louisianians suffering without any help, and today is yet another example of how Cassidy’s reckless economic agenda would hurt us even more in the Senate.”

Bill Cassidy has repeatedly voted against extending unemployment insurance for Louisianians who are struggling to find work. His refusal to support UI is costing Louisiana at least $1.6 million per week and has now cost Louisiana at least $3.2 million.

Already nearly 8,000 Louisianians who have been looking for work for more than 26 weeks have lost their unemployment insurance. In six months that number will grow to more than 20,000, and to more than 30,000 by year’s end.


12/28/13: 7,832 Louisianians Lost Unemployment Benefits Following The Expiration Of Emergency Unemployment Compensation. [House Ways and Means Committee Democrats, accessed 1/7/13]

The Department Of Labor Estimated 30,400 Louisianians Would Be Affected If Emergency Unemployment Compensation Was Not Extended In 2014. [Council of Economic Advisers, December 2013]


Cassidy Would Not Say Whether He Would Support An Extension Of Unemployment Benefits But Said That The U.S. Should Increase Jobs By “Using America’s Natural Resources.” “Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, didn’t say whether he would support an extension of unemployment benefits, but called increasing jobs the most effective strategy to help the unemployed. ‘The way you create jobs is by using America’s natural resources,’ he said in a statement.” [Times-Picayune, 12/6/13]


Cassidy Would Not Support Extending Unemployment Benefits Without Identifying The Source Of The Funds. The Advocate reported on a proposal to extend emergency federally-funded unemployment benefits: “That sentiment was echoed by Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge. ‘It all depends on whether or not it’s paid for,’ Cassidy said Tuesday. ‘This bill borrows $12 billion from future generations.’” [The Advocate, 12/1/10]

  • Without Extending Emergency Federally Funded Unemployment Benefits, 27,000 Louisianans Could Have Lost Benefits By Christmas. The Advocate reported on a proposal to extend emergency federally-funded unemployment benefits: “If Congress chooses to not extend emergency federally funded unemployed benefits to the out-of-work, some 27,000 Louisianans could be affected as early as the Christmas season.” [The Advocate, 12/1/10]

November 2010: Cassidy Voted Against Extending Unemployment Benefits. In November 2010, Cassidy voted against extending federal unemployment insurance benefits through February 2011 for the long-term unemployed who had exhausted the typical 26 weeks provided by the states. The bill would also provide 100 percent federal funding to state programs to cover additional implementation costs. An estimated 2 million Americans were set to lose their benefits without Congressional action by the end of that month. The bill failed, 258-154, without a two-thirds majority required for bills under suspension rules. [[CQ Weekly, 11/22/10; HR 6419, Vote #579, 11/18/10]

July 2010: Cassidy Voted Against Extending Unemployment Benefits. In 2010, Cassidy voted against extending unemployment benefits for workers who had exhausted their benefits. The extension, passed in July, would apply retroactively to June 2, and would expire at the end of November.  The legislation provided 100 percent federal funding to state unemployment programs to cover additional implementation costs and would add $33.9 billion to the deficit over 10 years. The bill passed, 272-152. [CQ Today, 7/22/10; HR 4213, Vote #463, 7/22/10]

July 2010: Cassidy Voted Against Extending Unemployment Benefits. In 2010, Cassidy voted against extending expired unemployment benefits to approximately 1.7 million people who had lost benefits between the end of May and July 3.  The bill would extend through November 30, extended eligibility for unemployment insurance for laid-off workers. The measure would make the extension retroactive to June 2, when the provisions expired, meaning that eligible workers could receive benefits retroactively. The bill also included an amendment that would prevent payment of jobless benefits to known or suspected terrorists; individuals convicted of sex offenses against minors; and illegal immigrants. The bill passed, 270-153. [CQ Today, 7/01/10; HR 5618, Vote #423, 7/01/10]

June 2010: Cassidy Opposed Extending Unemployment Benefits to 1.7 Million People. In 2010, Cassidy voted against extending federal unemployment benefits that expired in early June through November 30, 2010. Another 1.7 million people would see their benefits expire if not passed, according to the House Ways and Means Committee.  House Democrats urged their colleagues to assist the unemployed, asserting that the bill would support consumer spending and help stimulate the economy. Historically, Congress had extended benefits in economic emergencies without finding offsets. The $33.9 billion cost over a decade would was not offset. The bill failed under suspension rules requiring a two-thirds majority, 261-155. [CQ Today, 6/29/10; HR 5618, Vote #398, 6/29/10]

February 2012: Cassidy Voted Against Renewing Long-Term Unemployment Benefits. In 2012, Cassidy voted against renewing long-term unemployment benefits as a part of bill to extend the payroll tax cut. The bill renewed long-term unemployment benefits into January 2013. The cost of the bill was partially offset by requiring larger pension payments from newly hired federal employees and lawmakers, auctioning blocks of electromagnetic spectrum used by television broadcasters, and reducing funds for programs listed in the Affordable Care Act. [CQ Vote Summary, 2/17/12] The bill passed 293-132. [H.R. 3630, Vote #72, 2/17/12]