Congressman Tom Perriello today released the following statement, blasting the U.S. Senate for playing politics with unemployment benefits and Medicare payments to doctors. This week, unemployed Virginians will receive a notice from the Virginia Employment Commission indicating benefits are being cut off due to the Senate's inaction. And Virginia doctors who see Medicare patients have been notified that their reimbursements will decrease by 21% because of the Senate's failure to pass a long-term fix to the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula.
"The elites in the Senate may have forgotten what it's like on Main Street for families still struggling in this recession. Hard-working Virginians who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own have been subject to the game-playing and political posturing of the Senate for too long. People depend on these benefits to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head while they search for new work. It's unconscionable that the Senate continues to play politics with unemployment benefits and Medicare payments while the American people need action."
Rep. Perriello has voted repeatedly to extend unemployment benefits and to prevent the 21% cut in Medicare payments. For months, the Senate has passed a series of temporary extensions of unemployment benefits but only at the last minute when they expire and leave hundreds of thousands of Americans without any help. If the Senate continues to stall, 23,500 Virginians will lose their unemployment benefits.