This Motion to Recommit on H.R. 5618 adds a provision to pay for the extended unemployment benefits proposed in the underlying bill.
We think it makes sense to help long-term unemployed people and we want to do it without adding another $34 billion to the nation’s $13 trillion debt.
We know that Stimulus hasn’t worked – in its wake nearly 3 million private sector jobs were lost, unemployment soared to 10 percent nationwide, and 48 of 50 states lost jobs.
So, this MTR pays for the $34 billion in Federal unemployment costs by cutting that much in unspent stimulus spending. Only a portion of the trillion-dollar stimulus has been paid out $414 billion as of June 18 as reported by the official Recovery Act website. That leaves hundreds of billions of dollars unspent and available to offset this bill.
I’d like to quote from a Statement of Administration policy last November. “Fiscal responsibility is central to the medium-term recovery of the economy and the creation of jobs. The Administration therefore supports the fiscally responsible approach to expanding unemployment benefits embodied in the bill.”
That statement was about the only one of eight unemployment benefits extender bills so far that was actually paid for. But the same can and should be said about this motion. It is fiscally responsible, and that is central to the recovery of our economy and job creation.
I’d also like read a quote from Speaker Pelosi that appeared in Congress Daily AM on Monday. She said, and I quote, “I am hard-put to pass any more initiatives here unless there is some reasonable prospect of success on the Senate side.”
Well, there isn’t a reasonable prospect of success on the Senate side unless we adopt this Motion to Recommit. Just last night, the Senate rejected the unpaid for version of this bill. Rejecting this motion ensures this bill will die in the Senate and that hundreds of thousands of unemployed Americans will continue to go without their unemployment benefits.
I urge all Members to join me in supporting this Motion to Recommit, which will help today’s unemployed workers and improve the future for our children and grandchildren by not adding to our debt.