Providing for Consideration of Senate Amendment to H.J. Res. 59, Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014by Representative David N. Cicilline
Posted on 2013-12-12
CICILLINE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
The budget deal that we are voting on today is a step in the right direction because it blunts some of the painful cuts caused by sequestration. But a critical piece is missing: extending unemployment benefits that are due to expire at the end of this year.
It is an absolute disgrace that this body would even consider leaving town without finishing our work and ensuring that we address the needs of the long-term unemployed. Just 3 days after Christmas, 1.3 million Americans struggling to find work will immediately be thrown out into the cold and lose their unemployment assistance, including 4,900 Rhode Islanders who will lose their benefits on December 28. Much of the economic gain achieved in this budget deal will be nearly wiped out by failing to extend unemployment insurance.
Mr. Speaker, how do you plan to explain to your constituents your 3- week vacation when you have constituents who won't be able to keep the heat on or put the next meal on their dinner table because Congress failed to do its job? We should, every day, but especially during this time of year, be thinking of others and taking care of one another, not walking away from our responsibilities and ignoring the challenges facing our fellow citizens.
We have 15 days to figure this out. What is the rush to leave town? It won't take much time to resolve this problem because we already have the answer.
Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that the House call up H.R. 3546 for immediate consideration. This will extend unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Does the gentleman from Georgia yield for a unanimous-consent request? Mr. WOODALL. No.