Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi to GOP Leadership: 'Let Us Vote This Week to Extend Unemployment Insurance'

May 21, 2003

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke this morning at a news conference held with Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, Senator Edward Kennedy, and unemployed workers to support the extension of unemployment insurance. Below is a transcript of her remarks:

"Thank you very much Leader Daschle for your leadership on this very important issue of America’s working families. I am very pleased for both of us to be joining Dusty Mills, Holly Johnson, and Carolyn Maston, unemployed workers who are with us today, unfortunately, rather than being at a job.

"But the fact is that we have high unemployment in our country, and Democrats are united with workers to relieve the stress and strain of these families here.

"Senator Daschle said it very well--this proposal on extending the unemployment benefits is not only good for the families, it is good for the economy. It immediately injects demand into our economy.

"For every dollar spent on unemployed benefits, $1.73 is infused into the economy. For every dollar spent on the dividend taxation reduction, the centerpiece of the Republican proposal, nine cents will be injected into the economy. Nine cents for the Republican tax plan, $1.73 for extending unemployment benefits.

"Let's look at the important factor of job creation. The injection of this spending into the economy immediately creates demand, creates jobs, is good for the families who need the help, and gives hard-working Americans much-needed spending money for necessities that will build the economy.

"2.7 million people lost their jobs since President Bush became President. Almost nine million Americans are now unemployed. Every American President since World War II has had a record of job creation except President George W. Bush.

"What do the Republicans propose? More tax cuts for those who need it least at the expense of putting purchasing power into the hands of America’s working families.

"Democrats have a better way. We went through this together last year when we insisted on the extension of benefits that the Republicans rejected before Christmas and then later approved. We have an even better proposal than that this time.

"Our request to the Republican leadership is simple--we want to vote on a bill this week to extend unemployment insurance for the millions of Americans whose benefits will expire on May 31.

"In my state of California, there are 351,900 more unemployed workers today than there were the day President Bush took office--the biggest increase of any state in the country.

"In 47 states, unemployment has increased. The numbers are staggering, they are eloquent, they should move us dramatically. People are losing their jobs, looking for work, and finding none.

"And now we are going to be joined by a person who is a champion for America's working families and hopefully will be a leader in getting unemployment compensation extension through the Senate, Senator Ted Kennedy."


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