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Letter to Senate Colleagues

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Hartford, CT

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) wrote his Senate colleagues today, urging them to join him in an effort to establish a Joint Select Committee on Job Creation in the United States Senate, helping to ensure that job creation is at the top of the Senate's agenda. The committee would be tasked with making recommendations on how to create jobs, foster economic growth, and reduce the high unemployment rate.

Blumenthal's call for a Committee on Job Creation echoes a similar proposal put forth by Congressman John Larson (D-CT, 1st District) in the House of Representatives. The Joint Select Committee on Job Creation would be structured similarly to the Deficit Committee recently established by Congress.

In the letter, Blumenthal says, "Congress has failed to act with any sense of urgency to address the unacceptably high unemployment rate. Nearly 14 million Americans are unemployed -- and more than six million have been without work for longer than six months -- putting a strain on cash-strapped states and increasing reliance on important safety net programs like Medicaid… Creating new jobs would allow millions of American workers to become self-sufficient, and would save billions of dollars in spending on programs like unemployment insurance and food stamps."

The unemployment rate was 9.1% in the month of July.

The full text of the letter follows:

Dear Colleague:

As Congress and our country consider how best to confront the deficit and our lagging economy, now is the time to focus on our shared, bipartisan priority: creating new jobs.

Americans from all walks of life have long realized that the best way to shrink our deficit and get our economy back on track is to help hard-working Americans find good-paying jobs. In short, we must put America back to work. Yet Congress has failed to act with any sense of urgency to address the unacceptably high unemployment rate.

Nearly 14 million Americans are unemployed -- and more than six million have been without work for longer than six months -- putting a strain on cash-strapped states and increasing reliance on important safety net programs like Medicaid. For too many families, the lack of job security means they cannot afford to stay in their homes -- or are forced to choose between buying essentials like food and clothing, paying their children's college tuition, or paying their mortgage. Older workers are pushed into retirement without sufficient savings or the means to pay for long-term care.

Creating new jobs would allow millions of American workers to become self-sufficient, and would save billions of dollars in spending on programs like unemployment insurance and food stamps.

I intend to introduce legislation in the coming weeks that would help put job creation at the top of Congress's agenda. This legislation, modeled after a proposal that will be introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman John Larson, would establish a Joint Select Committee on Job Creation. This Joint Select Committee would be structured similarly to the Deficit Committee recently established by Congress, and would be responsible for making recommendations on how to reduce America's unemployment rate.

Congress has acted to address the rising deficits and debt that threaten our economic recovery. Now Congress should also act, responsibly and effectively, to address the pervasive and pernicious problems that just as seriously imperil our economic future and social fabric.

Sincerely,

Senator Richard Blumenthal


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