From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi: 'Extending Unemployment Benefits is Good for Families, Good for the Economy'

October 29, 2003

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke this morning at a news conference held to urge the Republican leadership not to adjourn for the year without passing an extension of unemployment benefits. Below are her remarks:

"In the three years since President Bush took office, he has added $3 trillion to the national debt and lost 3.2 million jobs, the worst record on job creation since Herbert Hoover.

"Last year, the Republican majority said, 'bah humbug' to laid-off workers and allowed unemployment benefits to expire at Christmas time, leaving millions of families with no way to put food on their tables, pay their bills, or pay for their health care.

"This Halloween, Republican leaders seem poised to play the same cruel trick on American workers again by not extending unemployment benefits before Congress adjourns. Democrats will not allow Republicans to abandon workers again.

"More than two million Americans, who want to work, have been unemployed for more than six months. This is not just a number. This is about the more than two million people and their families who are not sure they can make ends meet. Democrats are fighting for these families.

"That is why House Democrats, led by Representative Darlene Hooley, are signing a discharge petition today to force Republicans to take up the Democratic plan to extend benefits.
"The Democratic plan boosts the economy -- each dollar spent on unemployment benefits will boost the economy by $1.73. Our plan helps families who will spend the money right away on necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, and medical care. Extending unemployment benefits is good for families, and it is good for the economy.

"This discharge petition will let every American know whether their Member of Congress stands with unemployed workers or abandons them."




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