Today, Democrats attempted to add another $12 billion to our nation’s debt by refusing to provide a fiscally sound way to extend Federal unemployment benefits. Republicans have long supported aiding the unemployed, but Democrats remain adamant that the cost of these benefits be added to the country’s nearly $14 trillion debt. Ways and Means Member Charles Boustany (R-LA) took to the floor to speak in favor of extending unemployment benefits in a fiscally responsible way:
“In February 2009, the President signed the Democrats’ trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ plan. Democrats promised that plan would create 3.7 million jobs and lower the unemployment rate to 7 percent by now. None of that happened.
“Instead, over 2 million more private sector jobs were lost and unemployment spiked to 10 percent, while the debt has grown by almost $3 trillion. A total of 48 out of 50 States have lost jobs since Democrats’ stimulus passed.
“We can do better than this. Both Republicans and Democrats support helping the long-term unemployed. Republicans and even some Democrats want to responsibly pay for these benefits. The fact is, we can BOTH provide this help AND pay for it by cutting less effective stimulus spending. That’s what we should be debating today, not a bill called up under special rules that permit no amendments and no chance to pay for this bill.”