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Mr. LINDER. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, we are asked to believe that $34 billion in spending in this new bill is an emergency and thus need not be paid for. But since this is the eighth extension of UI benefits in the past 2 years, Members need to ask, can the eighth bill do anything that is still really a budget emergency?
In those two years, and counting the bill before us, we will have spent $125 billion in Federal tax dollars for UI benefits. We have paid for exactly $2 billion of that, and done so by raising taxes on jobs. That is a lot of unpaid-for emergency spending. All because of a bankrupt ideology on the other side that thinks the unemployed are somehow helped more when we use borrowed money to provide benefits than when we cut some other spending to actually pay for them.
In the real world, people set priorities. They buy one thing, but not another, if they can't afford both. But in this House, which can't be bothered to consider a budget even in time of record deficits and debt, setting priorities is far too much to expect.
Yet that sort of priority setting is exactly what we were promised with the Democrats' PAYGO rules. Here is how the President said they would work. ``Now Congress will have to pay for what it spends, just like everybody else. After a decade of profligacy, the American people are tired of politicians who talk the talk but don't walk the walk when it comes to fiscal responsibility.''
Despite that lofty rhetoric, Democrats included an emergency spending trapdoor in their PAYGO rules, so anything that is used to declare an ``emergency'' doesn't have to be paid for.
The gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Levin, earlier this week repeatedly said there were no excuses for not supporting this legislation, but excuses and tax hikes are all the other side offers when it comes to actually paying for their spending. What is the excuse for that--that there is not enough spending around to cut? Tell that to one of your constituents over the next week.
Fortunately, the American people are catching on. Last week, leading employers noted the Democrats' policies, including this record accumulation of debt, are hostile to job creation, and more people think Elvis is alive than believe Democrats' trillion-dollar stimulus created jobs. Unemployed workers want real jobs, not 2 years of unemployment benefits. But all this Congress offers is more debt and ultimately more pink slips. That is hardly what the unemployed need.
I urge Members to oppose this bill and insist that any further spending is really paid for. That is the only hope for turning this economy around and actually creating jobs that Americans need.
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