Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke with reporters today defending the nation’s jobless. On the heels of the news from the latest report from the US Department of Labor indicating that the number of jobless claims rose by 13,000 (the highest level since March), Nancy Pelosi lashed out at members of Congress continuing to vote against the jobless.
When speaking about the recent failure of H.R. 4213 and other measures which extend jobless benefits she stated today that unemployment benefits do the following:
“It injects demand into the economy,” Pelosi said, arguing that when families have money to spend it keeps the economy churning. “It creates jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name.”
She also stated, “It’s impossible to think of a situation where we would have a country that would say we’re not going to have unemployment benefits.“
Apparently though it is possible as there are millions who have already exhausted all benefits. These are the 99ers (those who have exhausted the maximum weekly benefit amount). Additionally, this statement by Speaker Pelosi seems to contradict a statement made back on May 28, 2010 where she stated:
“The phenomenon or the situation that I see is that members who are from low-unemployment areas are very concerned about the deficit,” Pelosi said. “Members who are from high-unemployment areas are very concerned about the jobs.”
This statement was made in response to a question from a reporter where the Speaker of the House was asked about extending jobless benefits beyond the current 99 week maximum.
It would seem that Republicans would want to seize this political blunder and change their votes to support the unemployed or at least introduce legislation and make it known to the public that they have interest in the unemployed, especially in states with high unemployment rates. What the republicans are doing (or not doing) though is just as bad on the jobless or worse. The GOP continues to nay say important, time sensitive legislation and use their filibuster every time the issue even comes up for discussion.
The unemployed and especially the long term unemployed are being used as political pawns and that type of politics is simply a cavalier disregard of the intelligence of persons out of work through no fault of their own. For many, it does not seem like a fair choice exists when one political party flip-flops on the issue and the other poltical party does nothing for your issue. However, it still remains true for most that it is better to be a late flip-flopper on extending benefits than to never extend benefits at all or to even go so far as to advocate against extending benefts.
Democrats keep showing the public they do not have the votes in the United States Senate to do this alone. Even with a new, stand alone bill that still leaves the democrats a vote short thanks to Ben Nelson (D-NE) getting ‘bailout fatigue’. Some democrats have made the calculation that if they stop doing anything else for the unemployed they would still have done more than any Republican during the financial crisis when it comes election day.
With the recent lash out from the Republican party against the unemployed, it would seem that democrats are right for knowing this fact but it is wrong to not do a little more to strong arm this legislation through. It is wrong to abandon the millions of jobless who have been upended by the tragic job market. Everyone is beginning to feel the pinch of the Stimulus Act fading away that afforded extended benefits which all Republicans voted against in early 2009.
As reported by CBS News, As Congress Plays Poltics, the Unemployed Suffer.
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