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Solis on the extension of Unemployment Insurance benefits

MEDIA RELEASE

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis has issued the following statement regarding the extension of Unemployment Insurance benefits:

“President Obama has said that Americans don’t expect Washington to solve their problems, but they rightfully expect government to work for them — not against them. I agree.

“Over the last week, our federal legislators have had an opportunity to extend Unemployment Insurance — a critically important program that brings immediate returns to our economy while helping Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. But a lack of bipartisan support blocked the effort.

“To those who are standing in the way of this extension, I say: the time to put politics aside is here. The welfare of millions is at stake.

“If Congress fails to act on an extension of the UI program 2 million Americans will lose their unemployment insurance by the end of the year. And millions more could join their ranks in the coming months. As a nation, we simply cannot let this come to pass.

“In fact, our government has never cut off unemployment benefits this early in a recovery. By way of example, following the 1982 recession — during President Reagan’s time in office — federal benefits were continued through the spring of 1985, after unemployment had fallen to 7.2 percent. There were good reasons for it then, and there are very good reasons for it now.

“UI benefits help those who need it most by putting food on the table and paying the bills. And, the return on investment on UI — 2 dollars in gained economic activity for each dollar invested in the program — is highly critical to our economic recovery.

“In the midst of political rhetoric, it’s too easy to lose sight of the fact that this economy belongs to all of us, whatever our employment status. So, helping those who need it most is not just the right thing to do for them, it helps everyone in America.

“Politics should never punish those who need help most, and it should never get in the way of sound policy. Congress must pass this important extension. Americans — all of them — are depending on it.”

One Response to “Solis on the extension of Unemployment Insurance benefits”

  1. James says:

    Americans aren’t just upset at the poor economy. They are more and more become infuriated at our government’s dreadful mismanagement and increasingly uncaring, heavy handed treatment of people in general, American or not. Our elected officials just seem to keep kicking people in the teeth and make no bones about doing so. They have begun a new era of conducting their improprieties right out in public as if to almost taunt the populous. “Checks and Balances” has become “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” I’m beginning to be afraid that our elected officials are going to thumb their noses at Americans one too many times and things are going to get really, really ugly really, really quick.

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