Reed Urges House Republicans to Allow an Up or Down Vote on Bipartisan Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization
|Targeted News Service|
Reed made the following statement on the
"Thank you, Madam President. Madam President, I rise today to again discuss the urgent need to restore emergency unemployment insurance.
Like many Americans, I am hopeful about our future but concerned about how the great recession has impacted our fellow Americans, particularly those who have been hit hardest, the long-term unemployed.
These are good people from all walks of life, from all fifty states. They are people who worked in a variety of fields, from high-tech to manufacturing and from cubicles in offices to plants and factory floors.
Many of them are older and finding themselves out of work for the first time in decades. All of them, all 2.78 million of them, lost out on
While they have been out looking for jobs,
Today's long-term unemployment rate is 2.2%, and it's still well above the highest rate, 1.3%, of previous expirations. In the past, when the rate was this high for long-term unemployment, we maintained these benefits.
This is still an emergency and we have to maintain these benefits. It still requires our attention and swift, bipartisan action. And to the
Thanks to my Republican colleague from
Senators on both sides of the aisle recognize that this is the right thing to do for workers and the smart thing to do for our economy. And so the
Unfortunately, Speaker Boehner and the
Madam President, we need to get our country back to full employment. That's the fundamental answer.
To place people in jobs, we have to move the country to a place where all Americans have an opportunity to earn a living and build a better life for their families.
Some may be tempted to look at the latest unemployment numbers and say, well, see, ending jobless benefits is working because the numbers seem to be falling. But that notion is simply not supported by the facts.
This long-term unemployment problem is still, as I mentioned, of significant proportions and those are precisely the people who benefit from extended unemployment benefits.
A recent study by the
And the economic conditions for the long-term unemployed are still perilous; it is still an emergency. The Speaker's refusal to renew emergency unemployment insurance makes it even harder for struggling Americans to feed their families and it does nothing to improve our economic outlook.
The fact that House Republicans are moving
Let me again remind everyone, we had a fully paid-for unemployment extension bill on a bipartisan basis that actually resulted in some deficit reduction, and the House has refused to take it up. But in the meantime, they are moving
So for the sake of job seekers and our economy, I hope House Republicans will stop obstructing emergency aid to job seekers. They need to take up the bipartisan
Just give the bill an up-or-down vote. And give millions of American job seekers a chance to get back on their feet. In fact, I'm confident if there was an up-or-down vote, it would pass the house. It is fiscally responsible, fully paid for, and it provides assistance to people and families who desperately need it and would help the economic climate in every state in this country.
Now, they can attach measures to the bill if they want, that's their prerogative. But let's go ahead and get a bill passed, and if we need to resolve the bill between
Refusing to vote is irresponsible. The American people deserve better and I hope they will see better in the coming days ahead.
And with that, Madam President, I would yield the floor."
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