WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement after the Senate vote on the extension of “emergency” unemployment insurance.
“Far too many Americans are still unemployed in President Obama’s economy. For each of them, it’s a personal crisis that we cannot overlook. Getting these people back on their feet starts with a strong safety net – six months of unemployment benefits – that we continue to have in this country. But the ultimate solution to joblessness is more jobs.
“That’s why the House has passed bill after bill that, taken together, would create a better environment for economic growth, investment, and new hiring in America. Dozens of bills are awaiting action in the Senate that would provide job skills training for the unemployed, ease job-destroying burdens on small businesses, promote innovation and education, create energy and infrastructure jobs, and get rid of the president’s health care law that is making it harder to hire workers in this country. To help Americans find new jobs, the president should call on the Senate to act on them.
“One month ago I personally told the White House that another extension of temporary emergency unemployment benefits should not only be paid for but include something to help put people back to work. To date, the president has offered no such plan. If he does, I’ll be happy to discuss it, but right now the House is going to remain focused on growing the economy and giving America’s unemployed the independence that only comes from finding a good job.”
NOTE: The recently-expired “Emergency Unemployment Compensation” program is put in place only in the worst economic conditions and is designed to be temporary. According to the House Ways and Means Committee, the recent program, which went into place as we entered a recession in 2008, was in place longer (66 months), was extended more times (12), aided more people (24 million), cost more ($265 billion), and added more to the debt ($210 billion) than any previous program. The expiration of this temporary program does not take away the vital safety net that provides all eligible unemployed workers 26 weeks of benefits. The unemployment rate is lower today than it was when emergency benefits were allowed to expire following the recession of the early 1980s.