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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 5749, Emergency Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 2008

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

I thank the gentleman for the time, and I appreciate the opportunity to debate this issue.

Madam Speaker, it is an unfortunate situation that we have to debate unemployment compensation because of the underlying economic weaknesses, particularly those that have been caused by high energy prices.

We have seen reports of plant closures because of high energy prices. High natural gas prices have put American manufacturers, American fertilizer makers, American petrochemical industries at a competitive disadvantage because it is not a global commodity, and we have failed as a Congress to put forward an energy policy that actually creates energy, which actually creates American jobs.

In addition to that, this particular rule waives PAYGO, one of the most prominently heralded reforms brought into the 110th Congress, the idea that you would pay-as-you-go. It is now a matter of sometimes paying as you go, every now and then paying when you go, when it's convenient paying as you go.

But be that as it may, it is important that we address not only the necessary relief for those who have lost their jobs, but to prevent people from losing their jobs in the first place. And the best way that this Congress can move forward on that is to put onto the floor of the House a comprehensive energy policy that actually produces energy, that puts American workers back to work, taking advantage of the tremendous potential in conservation and green jobs, but also in domestic production, exploring the resources that we have here and putting them to work for the American people, constructing nuclear power plants. There is a lot of talk from both sides of the aisle about the need to move into more innovative uses of mobile fuels, to move into the plug-in hybrid. Well, what are you going to plug it into?

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I thank the gentleman.

So we have to invest not only in the next generation of mobile fuels to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil and gas, but also to construct the type of electrical infrastructure necessary to create a thriving economy, to put people to work so they don't have to rely on unemployment compensation and the whim of the Congress and the whim of the State legislatures about whether it is 13 weeks or 26 weeks. We ought to be focused on putting them back to work. That is what these American workers want, and we have an opportunity to do that.

We have put forward that proposal with the No More Excuses Energy Act, a comprehensive approach that puts people to work and eliminates our dependence on foreign energy from people who don't like us and creates a generational leap forward for energy security for North America.

I urge Members to defeat this rule. Let's start over and do it the right way.


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