WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) released the following statement after the Senate passed the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act which would extend federal unemployment insurance for millions of families across the country:

Today’s vote is a step in the right direction for the millions of Americans left in the lurch and scrambling to make ends meet as their unemployment insurance has dried up while they continue to search for a job. But while those families can breathe a little easier today, I’m appalled that it took this long to get here. 

Federal support for unemployment insurance has been a lifeline for millions of Americans who have been laid off through no fault of their own, and the longer they’ve gone without it, the worse off they’ve become. Extending these benefits isn’t just the right thing to do—it’s also the smart thing to do for our economy. Every dollar that we put into unemployment insurance returns nearly double that for the economy. It took far too long for Republicans in the Senate to remember the men and women they represent who have worked hard all their lives and are desperate to get back to work. I hope Republicans in the House will do the right thing and pass this bill too.