|By Josh Richman, The Oakland Tribune|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
"Nobody who works full time should have to raise their children in poverty," said Boxer, D-
She cited President
She also blamed Republicans for the nation's slow recovery from the Great Recession, saying that the
Boxer said extending the long-term unemployment benefits that began expiring for 1.7 million Americans in December "is the morally right thing to do for the economy."
Previous Congresses and administrations controlled by both parties haven't hesitated to do so without cost offsets in the past, she said, knowing it would both keep food on families' plates and stimulate the economy.
Republicans first refused to enact an unemployment insurance extension unless cuts were made elsewhere in the budget to offset it. But more recently, they've sought to tie an extension to the restoration of a cost-of-living increase for military retirees.
Democrats also are trying to raise the federal minimum wage to
Boxer, who heads the
Boxer said she's also working on clean-energy initiatives. But that, she said, is even more of an upstream swim because conservatives in
"Green industries are made-in-America jobs and they will keep the world from destruction," she said, exhorting her Republican colleagues to "open your eyes, look out the window, look at the extreme weather all over this nation including the terrible drought in parts of the West."
Finally, she said, comprehensive immigration reform will have massive economic benefits, including
Taking questions from the audience, Boxer said she supports Gov.