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Statement Regarding Vote On H.R. 3548, Unemployment Compensation Extension Act Of 2009

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

* Mr. SMITH of Texas. Madam Speaker, on September 22, 2009, I voted ``no'' on H.R. 3548, the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2009. As of August 2009, the State of Texas had 966,000 people who were unemployed. This amounts an unemployment rate of 8.0 percent but this legislation only applied to states with unemployment over 8.5 percent so unemployed Texans were not eligible. I would have voted for H.R. 3548 because so many people across the country continue to be unemployed if the bill had not discriminated against Texas and 22 other states with unemployment rates lower than 8.5 percent.

* The State of Texas has many counties and communities where the unemployment rate is higher than 8.5 percent. Many more individuals should have qualified for these benefits. Furthermore, since employers in Texas continue to pay the taxes that pay for these benefits, they are subsidizing the unemployment benefits in other states without any of the revenue going to unemployed Texans. This bill is unfair and for that reason I could not support it.

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