More than a week ago Congress voted not to extend unemployment benefits for some four million Americans. Inyo-Mono
Congressman Buck McKeon was one of the no votes. Before the holiday, the congressman’s office forwarded comments about his position.
A press statement from McKeon’s office says, “The Congressman truly understands that a weakened economy has made it incredibly difficult on those seeking employment and that hardship has struck a good deal of businesses, employers and workers.” The Congressman is quoted as saying that creation of jobs and bolstering the economy are “absolute priorities for the Congressman.”
The press release also says that unemployment benefits constitute an important safety net for those who have lost their jobs and are looking for new employment. Then McKeon raises the issue of the federal debt which exceeds $13 trillion. He says Congress has to drive the debt rather than add to it. McKeon says, “This is a pledge Republicans took and intend to keep.”
McKeon claims that he and other Republicans support unemployment benefits but indicates some spending must be cut before adding the $12 billion for unemployment insurance extension. Those in danger of loss of unemployment pay point to the Bush tax cuts which, if kept, will cost the federal government $238 billion.
Congressman McKeon blames the Democrats for not approving the sale of excess federal property which would have raised $15 billion.
So, while the Republicans and Democrats continue to point fingers, some families wonder about the future.