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Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. BERKLEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my strong support for the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2011.

This legislation will extend unemployment insurance one additional year, preventing 6 million people across our Nation, as well as thousands of Nevadans, from losing their unemployment benefits.

This is especially important in my home State of Nevada, which continues to struggle with the highest unemployment rate in the Nation. Nevada's unemployed need good-paying jobs that can't be shipped overseas. That's why I'm focused like a laser on creating clean energy jobs and cracking down on the Chinese Government's unfair trade practices that are cheating Nevadans out of thousands of good-paying jobs.

But Nevadans also need relief in their job search. What they don't need is name-calling. Unfortunately, that's what they're getting in Washington. In fact, one of our Representatives had the nerve to suggest that unemployment insurance is creating a Nation of hobos. Hobos? Mr. Speaker, no one wants to be unemployed. No one wants to be out of work. No one wants to be called a hobo.

No one has ever come up to me and said, SHELLEY, Congresswoman, I love being unemployed. Life on unemployment is such a picnic.

No, they're not saying that. They say, SHELLEY, Congresswoman, I want a job. Find me a job. I want to work so I can take care of my family.

Mr. Speaker, Nevada's unemployed are not hobos. They're unemployed through no fault of their own, and they're desperate--desperate--to find a job. They can't afford not to work, and they can't afford the kind of elitist and insulting attitude representing them in Congress. They need all of us in the House and the Senate working day and night to fix our economy and to put people back to work. They don't have time for ideological battles about killing Medicare by turning it over to private insurance companies. They don't have time for vote after vote protecting taxpayer giveaways to big oil companies.

It's time to get serious about creating jobs, and it's time we get serious about extending critical unemployment insurance for families in Nevada and across our Nation. I ask my colleagues to join me in support of this much-needed bill.

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