CHARLESTON, W.Va. — All indications are House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.) will not make the restoration of extended unemployment benefits a priority issue for the U.S. House of Representatives in the weeks ahead, but a Republican candidate for Congress in West Virginia’s Third District says the extension needs to be addressed.

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Sen. Evan Jenkins (R-Cabell, 5)

“I would be a member of the Republican caucus who would stand up and say, ‘We need to extend these benefits,'” said state Senator Evan Jenkins (R-Cabell, 5) on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

“That’s what this benefit is.  It is for people who have been put out of work, for no fault of their own, and we have seen that, unfortunately, chapter and verse, here in West Virginia.”

Emergency unemployment compensation (EUC) is the federally mandated program for people who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits but still have not found jobs.  Nearly three million people nationally, including more than 7,000 in West Virginia, have lost those long-term benefits since the latest extension expired on Dec. 28, 2013.

“For these coal miners and others who have been penalized by this anemic economy and the war on coal, (they) should be allowed extended benefits until we can get this economy going and get the coal industry out from under the attack that’s being waged against it,” said Jenkins who has been an advocate for responsible government spending.  He said the EUC extension falls into that category.

“I’m for doing what is right.  We can find, within our federal government, the money.  About $20 billion is the expected fiscal note for the extension of this benefit.  It’s a big number, but it’s certainly manageable,” Jenkins said.

Third District Congressman Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), the incumbent Jenkins will likely face in the November General Election, also supports extending the long-term unemployment benefits that were first implemented after the recession in 2008.

The U.S. Senate approved an extension that would last through May 31 earlier this year.  Republican leaders in the U.S. House, though, have opted not to take up the measure.

Jenkins’ appearance on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline” is part of a series of interviews Hoppy Kercheval is conducting with the statewide candidates leading up to the May 13 Primary Election and Nov. 6 General Election.  Early voting for West Virginia’s primary election begins this week.

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  • sue

    let me say this to whomever is reading this. i lost my job to outsourcing to india. this is devastating beyond belief. besides the trauma of no insurance. now i have to endure the thought of only six months unemployment. i have worked over 35 years and never taken one cent from the government. i feel that because i have lost my job through no fault of my own that at least my state of wv could extend unemployment benefits. that is the least they can do. i work for a corporation. oursourcing started this month. this should never be allowed by our government.

  • Maggie

    Thank you for your support...I do not understand how John Boehner can expect cooperation if he does not give cooperation.

    I am glad to see that there is at least one Republican who cares about the jobless, and the future of our young people. I always thought that it was the responsibility of each Congressperson to promote economic development in their district......other than bashing each other's ideas it would be nice to see some article as to what each Congressman has done for their district..after all this is what taxpayers have been paying for.

    Why is it only Obama's problem to come up with a jobs creation plan, when that is the traditional role of our Representatives?

  • barbara jones

    Boehner and the Koch brothers both need to lose their jobs, the Koch brothers control many of the republican votes in the house which are holding up the ui benefits for those of us who need them...also the white house needs to get together with john Boehner to set this program up about job creations so he will at least bring the ui benefits vote to the floor....just wait all of you who think you're doing great with the obamacare wait until 2016 when a new president is elected and th republicans kill the Obama care and wait and see what a mess the republicans make of the country then, not only us poor people needing benefits and most of the country is going to be running around like chickens with their heads cut off looking for health ins

  • barbara jones

    hey jayjay you obviously must be one of the few who don't need UI benefits so keep sitting here with no money, no job, shop at the dollar store for 65 years old and have worked all my life and never asked ever for any help from anyone, but now that i'm in a bad place because of losing my job last year I need this little extra help and you don't think we the americans should ask for it...who the heck are you..

  • Aaron

    you got lucky, u punk

  • mark of hagerstown md


  • Marie

    I think Aaron is Boehner


    At 59 I lost my job at no fault of my own. I've sent resume after resume and have had several interviews to no avail. Good for you for backing extensions. We need help!!!

  • Carol are an arrogant,nasty,egotistical tyrant...circumstances are very different for everyone and YOU of all people going through this already should encourage people and not pompously put them down..wait till one of your kids loses their job.I,too became unemployed and as a women of 60 paid to go back to school after having 2 degrees already,but at my age the resume goes to the bottom.I know this because once I was a recruiter.Bonehead is holding this up until is a job growth plan..he why didn't that smartass draft one,because that is a smoke screen and you mr. A,great initial for you,are too stupid to even see that!

  • Tish Mitchell

    In tears my daughter just wrote me a letter stating that she knows my struggle with money because we haven't done market in months. Just going to the Dollar Tree to get maybe 10 dollars worth of food. She said mom I'm going to keep my average up to a 3.00 in the eleventh grade now and I know we can't afford for me to go to the prom or to see B & Jay concert as promised. But it's ok when you get back to work we will be ok. Mom I don't stress about that kind of thing as long as you are ok. This world will get better but if not here the next world in heaven. I'm in tears over her letter I did promise her to keep her grades up and now shes an honor roll student and taking college courses. Boehner needs to hear from my daughter on her sacrifices. I'm still crying I was so strong but I held it together until she left out to go to school. Please keep us in prayer.

  • Bella

    @Janet. The rate of unemployment for people with disabilities who want to work, are able to work and seeking work is 90+% when compare to the total working population with and without disabilities. Add another struggling demographic to the mix and unemployment is at a greater risk to become long-term if not forever. People with disabilities are shunned by our society with the assumption that some charity or government disability fund will provide support not knowing that a life of charity and disability funding is a life of extreme poverty and often at the cost of few civil rights. I would not wish that life on anyone let alone someone with a disability.

  • Darlene Schubert

    I don't understand why Boehner is holding up the unemployment extension I just don't understand if he reads these comments from unemployed people he just don't care. Most of the long term unemployed are losing everything they haveand will soon be living in the street or a homeless shelter. how would Boehnerlike it if it was one of his family members but he makes enough money he could go to a couple months of a paycheck and pay the unemployment extension himself or give up the pension that he's going to get when he retires he's not worth it he's brought Americans to their knees and it needs to stop now !

  • A. Jeremiah

    I worked my whole life and never received any help from the government, but now that I have reached 60 and lost my job and ran out of unemployment, I need some help so I don't lose my home. This extension would put me through until I find some work. Who ever is listening push for the unemployed to get this extension we need it.

  • lee

    Aron, you're a ignorant idiot!!!

  • Dina

    If the House does not move this along I will make it my responsibility to make sure NONE of them get reelected! House Speaker John Boehner claims that it can't be done because the computer programs states are using are out dated. I am an unemployed IT professional and I would gladly volunteer my services to any state that needs it so they can get people their unemployment. USE THE RESOURCES that we have and stop blaming outdated programs as an excuse! All the information is housed in a database so a job could be written to extract the data and the push the benefits through. Will it be easy no but it can be done!

    • Bella

      @Dina. I am an unemployed IT professional too. Sign me up.

    • Darlene Schubert

      Thank You