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A Discussion About Jobs

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. WILSON of Ohio. Thank you for convening this important discussion about our economy and our need to create jobs. I appreciate both of my colleagues from the California area and say that I represent the Ohio River Valley area that runs from Youngstown down through Steubenville, Athens, Marietta-Athens, and on down. So it's all along the Ohio River where we have had for many years and generations steel workers and people that have helped to move this economy and our country forward.

But by July 17 over 112,000 people in the State of Ohio will lose their unemployment benefits. This is due to the Senate's inaction to extend unemployment benefits which contribute to the important every-day expenses like paying your mortgage, health care bills, utility bills, and cost of food where there isn't a paycheck coming in. The American people are hurting, and they want to work. Until we can get everyone who wants a job working again, I believe that it is important that we continue to support unemployment insurance.

On July 1, I was proud to vote in favor of the House-passed legislation to extend unemployment benefits for millions of American families. This 6-month extension of benefits will not only help families looking for work, but it is a proven fact that it will boost our economy also.

In a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, more than 6 in 10 Americans support congressional action to extend unemployment benefits for jobless workers. And The Washington Post agrees, stating in a recent article that passing the extension of unemployment insurance is both the right thing to do and the fiscally prudent thing to do.

I would like to quote The Washington Post editorial: ``Drawing the deficit line at additional unemployment benefits is shortsighted, because, if anything, the economy could benefit from more stimulus spending, not less. Unemployment benefits, which are most apt to be immediately plowed back into the economy, are about the most stimulative form of spending. Extending them is both fiscally sensible and morally decent.

``Unemployment benefits ..... are an essential lifeline. The Senate needs to extend them.''

In fact, the analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office suggests that extending unemployment benefits is one of the most cost-effective and fast-acting ways to stimulate our economy. It's not just the CBO. Many economists agree that extending these benefits decreases the chances of slipping back into a double-dip recession.

As a matter of fact, I have here from Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, a former economist to Senator John McCain, who says for every dollar that is invested in unemployment insurance $1.61 is pumped back into the American economy. I hope that all of us can see the need for extending these unemployment benefits and move quickly to get our people voted back to be able to have the Senate do the right thing and pass unemployment.

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Mr. WILSON of Ohio. Well, it is sad because what will happen is they will go down to the welfare level. They have to be able to have food and some way to be able to survive, and I think it is the biggest part of cruelty and, secondly, I believe that the States are already scraping by with just not having the proper funding that they need. So to push this down to the State level would be catastrophic for a State like Ohio.

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