Representative Doug Collins (R-GA) spent a portion of the afternoon alongside his colleagues on the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs reviewing and listening to testimony on the thwarting steps the federal government has taken to address the national unemployment crisis and the potential unintended costs of those actions.
Serving as one of five witnesses during the hearing was local Gainesville employer, Stacy Reece. Reece was asked to testify by Rep. Collins to offer first-hand accounts to the committee on how the continued extension of unemployment benefits and the growth of welfare programs are encouraging individuals to remain on the government dime, rather than accept fulltime employment. He sees this type of behavior through work with his company, Spherion, on a regular basis.
"We have the lowest labor participation rate since 1981," Collins said. "It's time for the federal government to review its procedures, admit the mishandling of the current job market crisis, and make decisions that will undo the damage it has created for private sector job creators. I was excited to serve on this subcommittee for this very reason. Both Chairman Issa and Chairman Jordan have done a great job beginning this discussion so we can learn from past mistakes and make certain that the American people are never put through yet another destructive economic crisis.
"I deeply appreciate my friend, Stacy Reece, joining us today in Washington to highlight how the continued extensions of unemployment benefits are hurting, rather than helping, get our economy back on track. We need to understand how these benefits are affecting people at the local level, and Mr. Reece was able to shed some light on that subject area here today. The Ninth District should be very proud of commitment and dedication he has made to the economic stability and security of our area. My hope is through the jurisdiction of this subcommittee, I can work with my counterparts to deliver on meaningful legislation that will help small business owners and put Georgians back to work."
Following the hearing, Reece added:
"It was an honor to testify before the subcommittee today in Washington, and I thank Congressman Collins for the opportunity to do so. As a nation, we must find ways to incentivize people to want to join the labor force. Unfortunately many of the steps taken by the federal government the past few years have done just the opposite, and I have witnessed that in the work my staffing company does every day in Georgia's Ninth District. It is my hope that the experiences and evidence I shared with the committee today will open the door to further review of the inadvertent problems continued extensions in unemployment benefits are creating for our workforce, and encourage our government to create sensible solutions to move us in a better direction."