(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Over the objections of Senate Democrats, Senate Republicans yesterday declined to extend unemployment insurance for out-of-work Americans before the Senate recessed for the year. Senator Patty Murray offered the Senate amendment to extend unemployment benefits back in July. She repeatedly tried to offer the amendment on the Senate floor during the past month. In fact, Senate Democrats tried 15 separate times to bring the bill to the floor, but Senate Republicans refused to even take a vote.

Murray released a statement blasting the lack of action.

“I am deeply disappointed that the Senate majority has recessed for the session without fulfilling its duty to America’s laid-off workers. As we head into this holiday season, Congress should be extending a helping hand to our workers, not leaving them out in the cold.

Despite the rosy projections of economic growth and recovery from the Administration, too many Americans are continuing to suffer in this economy. In Washington state, we are continuing to see job losses.

Since January 2001, 75,000 manufacturing workers in our state have lost their jobs and their health benefits. And three out of four workers are exhausting their benefits before they find a job.

Hopeful predictions for the future do not help those who are hurting today. Nearly 20,000 workers in Washington state who were depending on Congress to act will now lose benefits over the holidays. I will continue to demand action from the Administration and Congress to do the right thing and pass a 6 month extension of benefits for struggling families across the country.”