Edwards Statement On The Economic Stimulus Package Before Congress
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Today, Senator John Edwards released the following statement on the economic stimulus package before Congress:
"This is another example of Washington deserting working people and the middle class. They gave $70 billion of tax breaks that do nothing for those who've lost their jobs. It's a complete disconnect between what's happening in Washington and what I see happening here in South Carolina and across the country. We desperately need a modernization of the unemployment insurance law to cover more poor families and those who have lost their jobs. We also need to build an infrastructure for the clean energy economy that will create jobs and fight global warming.
"George Bush will sign whatever economic stimulus package that is sent to him by the Congress. The Congress needs to stand its ground. They need to insist on unemployment insurance modernization. Because otherwise we're going to have thousands and thousands of families across this country who don't get the unemployment help they need, and they lost their jobs through no fault of their own."
Facing oil that has topped $100 a barrel, the burden of an unemployment rate that rose 0.7 points to 6.6% for December, the largest one month gain in 17 years, and following the loss of 90,000 manufacturing jobs under the Bush presidency, South Carolinians are ready for president who will fight for them. Edwards proposed a short-term economic stimulus plan in December, leading both his opponents and the White House with a smart plan to put money in the hands of people who need it the most and who will use it within their local economies. Edwards plan would build a clean energy infrastructure, provide relief to states, expand unemployment insurance, and help families facing foreclosures.
To help South Carolina families, Edwards' plan would:
* Provide about $1.5 billion to South Carolina
* Expand benefits for about 9,000 long-term unemployed workers
* Provide fiscal relief for the state of South Carolina - which is facing a $430 million deficit next year, according to the state Board of Economic Advisors.