Washington, DC – House Speaker John Boehner came out today, March 19, against the Senate measure to restore unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless. In a statement issued by his press office, Boehner stated he was “open” to an unemployment insurance extension, but that it must be “fiscally-responsible” and help “to create more private-sector jobs.” He then stated, “There is no evidence that the bill being rammed through the Senate by Leader Reid meets that test.”
In Congress ‘fiscally-responsible’ is often a code word for cuts to social programs that serve working and low-income people. ‘Private sector job creation’ means handouts to corporations or removing environmental regulations.
Nationally, Republicans have staked out the political terrain that blames jobless workers for high unemployment rates and poverty on the poor.
More than 2 million workers have been hit by the failure to renew Extended Unemployment Compensation (EUC) at the end of last year.
Republicans got what amounts to veto power over legislation to extend jobless benefits when the Democratic leadership failed to insist on including extended unemployment insurance into the December 2013 budget compromise.