In an impassioned plea to extended unemployment benefits, Cory Booker took the Senate floor for his maiden speech Monday evening.
“Every week that we delay, 70,000 Americans lose their benefits,” Booker told his Senate colleagues. “For thousands every week that means losing a house, an eviction from an apartment, depletion of savings. And because 40% of those who receive benefits have children, it means depriving our children of things that we would all consider the basics.”
Over a month since Congress failed to extend federal unemployment benefit programs, Booker put pressure on lawmakers to help those who are most in need. He told a number of personal stories of hardship from constituents in his home state of New Jersey.
“It’s my hope that this body, in this generation of America, find our measure of commonality and come together and find a way, so that we can better tend to those in crisis,” Booker said. “And so that we too may add our humble measure to that enduring American ideal. Let us extend unemployment insurance.”
Watch Booker’s first speech to the Senate in full above.