Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Congressman Garamendi Votes to Extend Needed Assistance for Americans Struggling to Find Work, Republicans Vote with Scrooge

November 18, 2010
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek, CA) today joined Democrats in Congress in voting to extend assistance for Americans struggling to find a job. The bill had majority support, with 258 in favor and 154 against, but it required a two-thirds vote to pass under House rules. 143 Republicans voted against the bill, which made it impossible to get the necessary two-thirds vote.

H.R. 6419, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Continuation Act, would extend unemployment benefits for two million Americans for three additional months. Unemployment Insurance is an insurance program. Every worker and employee in America pays into the insurance fund. When they lose their job, the fund pays a temporary benefit. Congressman Garamendi issued the following statement:

"We will not give up on people looking for a job. We were unable to get the necessary two-thirds of members of Congress to immediately move on an extension of unemployment benefits today. 454,500 California families continue to rely on their unemployment insurance checks to pay for food, mortgage and rent payments, and clothing, and this vital income is now imperiled.

"I hope that those Republicans who voted against extending assistance for jobseekers go home to their Thanksgiving dinner table and think about the nearly two million out-of-work Americans who will have the most meager of meals on Thanksgiving Day, knowing that without an extension of the unemployment insurance program, their families’ Christmas will be worthy of Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. 

"Americans must work together to revitalize our economy. We have a moral obligation to make sure that everyone looking for a job can put food on the table. We all suffer when children go hungry, rent payments lapse, and struggling Americans fall into desperation and destitution. Those who think we can afford massive tax breaks for billionaires surely must accept that we can afford temporary assistance for jobseekers.

"We must do all we can to create jobs. The number one job of the next Congress is to answer the question the America people are asking: ‘Where are the jobs?’ Our answer: Make It In America and create the good manufacturing jobs that are the backbone of the middle class."