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Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LINDER. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, we are here today to consider legislation paying another $34 billion in unemployment benefits. The other side says that these unemployment benefits stretching to almost 2 years are needed and must be added to the $13 trillion debt, even as they claim their trillion dollar stimulus plan has been a success at creating millions of jobs. It makes you wonder if they are looking at the same jobs data as the rest of us.

Eighteen months ago, this administration said the stimulus would create 3.7 million jobs. It hasn't. Through June of 2010, the United States lost 2.6 million more private sector jobs, leaving millions of Americans to ask: Where are the jobs?

The administration also promised that the stimulus would keep unemployment below 8 percent. It hasn't. Instead, unemployment reached 10 percent and remains stuck near that level today, and that ignores millions of missing unemployed left out of the official statistics.

The administration also said that the administration would create mostly private sector jobs. It didn't. Managing all that spending helped government jobs grow by 201,000 since the stimulus was passed, which has made Washington, DC, the Nation's strongest job market. Meanwhile, in the rest of the country, 47 out of 50 States have lost jobs since the Democrats' February 2009 stimulus.

While the job situation seems to have finally stopped getting worse, things are not getting much better. The trickle of private sector job creation in 2010 is so anemic that, at the current rate, it would take until 2017 to recover the jobs lost during the recession. That's longer than it took to recover the jobs lost during the Depression of the 1930s. Another estimate finds it will take until 2021 to get unemployment back to prerecession levels. Who knew that the administration's recovery summer would last a decade or more.

The fact is the only thing the Democrat stimulus has succeeded in creating is an enormous mountain of debt which is already hurting job creation. The bill before us will only make that worse.

Unemployed workers want real jobs with real companies in a real economy, not 2 years of unemployment benefits. But all this Congress offers is more debt and ultimately more pink slips. It is hardly what the unemployed need.

I urge Members to oppose this bill and insist that any further spending is actually paid for. If the Speaker is right that unemployment benefits are the most stimulative thing we can do, then it will help the economy to cut other less-effective stimulus spending and use it to pay for benefits like these.

That is the sort of budgeting, if we were inclined to pass a budget, that we should have been doing all along and is the only hope for turning this economy around and actually creating jobs that all Americans want and the unemployed need most of all.


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