Congressman Garamendi Votes for Budget Compromise, Urges Immediate Passage of Unemployment Insurance, Jobs Bill
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), today voted for the bipartisan and bicameral Murray-Ryan budget compromise, averting half of discretionary sequester cuts in 2014 and a quarter of discretionary sequester cuts in 2015. This bill, while imperfect and limited in scope, helps restore some needed funding to research, infrastructure, education, and support for struggling Americans, and makes it more likely that vital missions at Travis and Beale Air Force bases will be preserved. The budget compromise also prevents a government shutdown for upwards of two years. The bill passed by a vote of 332-94.
“This bipartisan compromise earned my support because it rolls back some of the job destroying sequester cuts that are holding back American businesses and workers. More jobs will exist with this deal than without it. That being said, this agreement is woefully inadequate and uninspiring in vision,” Congressman Garamendi said. “This budget helps prevent a government shutdown in January, thus averting another unnecessary blow to our economy like the one we just experienced. We will also restore needed funding to research, infrastructure, education, and social services.”
Congressman Garamendi is disturbed that the deal fails to extend unemployment insurance for Americans who are still struggling to find a job in a tough economy, and he thinks Congress should act on a comprehensive jobs package to expand the recovery to more hardworking Americans. Last Friday, Congressman Garamendi held a Job Fair in Solano County in the 3rd Congressional District, where 971 people, including 146 veterans, waited in line in the cold for a chance at a job. Many of those jobseekers will lose their unemployment coverage on December 28th without immediate Congressional action.
“At my Job Fair last week, I met hundreds of people who just want a chance at a job. People on unemployment insurance want to work; the jobs just aren’t available,” Garamendi added. “This Congress needs to extend unemployment insurance and develop a comprehensive jobs package, including Make It In America policies to rebuild American manufacturing, to make this economy work for everyone willing and able to contribute. The middle class is forged by an investment in manufacturing, advanced research, infrastructure, and job skills.”
Congressman Garamendi joined 165 other House Democrats in signing a letter to Speaker Boehner urging him to allow a vote on a one-year extension of the unemployment benefits extension scheduled to expire on December 28th. Congressman Garamendi believes such an extension has majority support in the House, but it requires action by the Republican leadership to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. Sadly, this did not happen.
As reported by the Washington Post, in recessions in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s, federal aid for the unemployed did not end until the long term unemployment rate had dropped to around 1.3 percent. It is currently around 2.6 percent.