Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee, was the only one of the five U.S. House members from Oklahoma who voted Thursday to extend unemployment benefits.
The legislation passed overwhelmingly and now goes to the Senate. It will extend benefits for 13 weeks in Oklahoma and some other states and for 26 weeks in states with higher unemployment rates.
Boren, the only Democrat in the state’s congressional delegation, said he was thinking of the people in Pryor who lost jobs when the Georgia Pacific paper plant shut down this week because of the slump in the housing industry.
“These types of factors can cause job loss in our local economies, and are completely out of the control of hard-working eastern Oklahomans,” Boren said. “That’s why this legislation is critical for those families who have experienced the pain of job loss while the cost of gas, goods, and services is increasing.”