On December 7th, the U.S. Senate took one more step in the process to restore unemployment benefits for millions of Americans across the country.

Republicans refusal to act prevented Congress from renewing unemployment benefits on December 28th 2013, leaving 1.3 million Americans without this aid. In Washington 24,414 Washingtonians lost their assistance on December 28th – with an average weekly loss of $395.14. And an additional 37,600 more will lose benefits in the first half of 2014.

“This is not the first time Republicans put obstructionism and politics before the well-being of the American people. They continue to oppose policies that would help the middle class like increasing the minimum wage. It is essential that we provide unemployment benefits to Americans in need – if we don’t restore these benefits, we could lose as many as 240,000 jobs nationwide, slow our economic recovery and cost the state of Washington approximately $9,646,948 a week in funds,” said Dwight Pelz, Washington State Democrats Chair. He added, “Thanks to Sen. Maria Cantwell and Sen. Patty Murray we are closer to again providing essential unemployment benefits to Americans in need.”