Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) issued the following response to the figures released by the Department of Labor showing stagnant unemployment rates:
"For 276 days in the majority, House Republicans have failed to enact any jobs measures or put forth any clear jobs agenda. The economy will only continue to worsen if we do not act quickly to address it. The jobs crisis is a national emergency and Americans cannot afford to wait any longer. The national unemployment rate remains distressingly high at 9.1%. While African American unemployment decreased slightly from 16.7% in August, we must be vigilant in targeting the unemployment of America's African Americans (16%), Hispanics (11.3%), and youth (24.6%) that have been hit hardest by the Great Recession.
"Jobs are the pathway out of poverty. We must invest in our people. Congress must enact President Obama's American Jobs Act and put people back to work. We must ensure that the work of the Supercommittee (the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction) is focused on economic growth, job creation, preservation of the social safety net, identification of revenue raisers that are fair, and cuts to a bloated Pentagon budget.
"I reiterate my call to Speaker Boehner to allow an up or down vote on H.R. 589, a bill I introduced that would provide fourteen weeks of benefits for those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits and are now off the books and in desperate need.
"Americans are waiting; Democrats have been prepared to act; and Republicans must join us to create jobs now."