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Public Statements

We Don't Learn From History

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Speaker, I don't know what's the matter with us when we don't learn from history.

After the Great Depression, we passed the Social Security Act. Two major components: One is to keep our seniors safe in their years of retirement, and the second, to provide for those who may become unemployed through no fault of their own.

The bill that we're being asked to vote on today is going to cut unemployment, cut unemployment, the extended portion, which people have come to rely on for those who are looking for work and can't get it, and we're cutting the emergency portion of it as well by eliminating tiers.

But, Mr. Speaker, more than anything else, the part that just bothers me and forces me to speak is that we are going to make people qualify for unemployment. They've got to have a high school diploma or a GED equivalent.

Mr. Speaker, my father went to the ninth grade. He worked through his whole life. Imagine someone like him, and there are many people like my father, that will not qualify for unemployment, will not qualify because they didn't have a high school diploma.

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