McCain-Kyl Statement on Unemployment Benefits Extension
The U.S. Senate approved late Tuesday a temporary extension of unemployment benefits and other expiring provision of law. U.S. Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), who both supported the extension, released the following joint statement:
"When the Senate approved the last unemployment benefits extension in November, we supported it, but warned that without additional measures to promote economic growth and jobs creation, many Americans would remain unemployed when that extension ran out. Indeed, that extension has now run out, and the unemployment rate is virtually unchanged. Last night, we joined a majority of our colleagues in the Senate to pass a 30-day extension of several federal programs including unemployment insurance and COBRA healthcare benefits. Unfortunately, the Democrats used partisan parliamentary tactics to defeat our attempt to pay for this extension. These programs are critical to hundreds of thousands of American families who are trying to stay in their homes and feed their children. They need our support in these difficult economic times.
"There are two things Congress can do immediately to help put people back to work, and both are meant to remove the uncertainty that is preventing many business owners from hiring again. First, we ought to set aside the Democrats' health-care reform bill that threatens a nearly $500 billion tax increase and new regulatory burdens that will raise existing employment costs and discourage new hiring; the cap-and-trade plan that will wring $646 billion out of businesses and taxpayers over the next decade; and the President's new $90 billion tax on banks that will further dry up lending that could otherwise fuel a recovery. Second, we should extend current tax rates, including tax rates on income, capital gains, and dividends, so that businesses, investors, and families have certainty about their finances beyond the end of the year. We're not asking that taxes be cut -- just that they be left alone. Otherwise, Americans' taxes are set to increase another $2 trillion over the next decade.
"But Congress must also recognize the tremendous burden we are placing on future generations of Americans through our continued deficit spending and our unsustainable debt. Although our attempt to pay for the extension of these programs was defeated, I am hopeful that we can begin to rein in our out of control spending and find a way to pay for these programs before it is time to reauthorize them. Benefits to help those who are unemployed provide important protection between jobs, but extension after extension only treats the symptoms, not the problem. With the 30-day extension we supported, Congress now has the time to pass meaningful job creating legislation."