Palm Beach and Broward Counties have been hit extremely hard by this recession. With Florida's unemployment levels unacceptably high and record foreclosures devastating home values, continued federal action is needed to get our economy moving again.
Congress must take bold action to bring about a real economic recovery that delivers jobs to our community and guarantees stability in the financial markets. Although our debt and deficit must be reduced in a balanced and responsible manner, we must also stimulate our economy by investing in green energy, new technologies and an infrastructure bank that will reinvest in our communities and give a needed boost the economy. Education and employment training assistance is vital in order to help re-train workers and help transform Florida into a leader in the green energy economy.
This devastating economic downturn has hit seniors and those on fixed incomes especially hard. It is unacceptable that Medicare costs and drug prices are increasing at the same time that there have been years without an increase in the Social Security cost of living adjustment (COLA), and I have written legislation to ensure COLAs go up when costs go up for seniors. It is unacceptable that even when the COLA finally does go up the increase is entirely eaten up by rising medical costs for the majority of seniors.
In addition, the financial crisis and recession have further devastated our community through plummeting home prices and a record number of foreclosures. Mortgage reform is needed to ensure that families are given every opportunity to stay in their homes and avoid foreclosure, and unemployment insurance benefits must be extended instead of cut. As a Member of Congress, I have supported legislation to help hardworking families stay in their homes. The federal government must empower lenders to make loan modifications for eligible homeowners in order to prevent continued defaults that hurt not just the individual family but also the community and condominium homeowners associations.