U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Michael F. Bennet (D-CO) recently led 18 colleagues in advocating the Senate Appropriations Committee to fully fund President Joe Biden’s request to administer unemployment insurance.
Wyden and Bennet, chair and member of the Senate Finance Committee, respectively, helped spearhead correspondence to Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Roy Blunt (R-MO) regarding the matter.
“As you consider priorities for the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY2023) Appropriations bill, we urge you to fully fund Unemployment Insurance (UI) administration at the levels President Biden proposed in his FY2023 budget,” the senators wrote. “Without robust administrative funding, state workforce agencies will struggle to provide UI benefits efficiently to jobless workers and to protect the integrity of the program.”
The senators said that sizable challenges states faced amid distributing unemployment insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrate how increased funding for unemployment insurance administration is needed.
“We request that you appropriate at least $3,184,635,000 for grants to states for the administration of state UI laws and at least $168,174,000 for national activities necessary to support UI administration in FY2023,” the senators concluded. “The increased funding for grants to states would allow the DOL (Department of Labor) to update its outdated funding assumptions and provide states with sufficient funds to ensure the UI program can serve jobless workers as intended. Funding for national activities will support crucial administrative functions shared across all states.”