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Enzi: Unemployment Insurance Can Be Extended Without Breaking the Bank

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, made the following statement in response to majority’s decision to force a vote on an unemployment extension bill that will further swell the nation’s $1 trillion debt:     

“I support extending unemployment insurance but unlike the majority’s leadership, I support paying for it. Both parties can agree to extend unemployment benefits: the difficulty arises when we discuss paying for it.  As a senator, an American, and an accountant, I can’t justify adding billions of dollars to this country’s fiscal mess when it could easily be paid for. America’s financial health is at risk.”

Enzi’s plan would use unspent stimulus funds to pay for unemployment insurance. The plan was supported by Republicans but was rejected four times by the majority.  Unfortunately, the Senate today took the partisan route and instead moved forward a temporary extension of unemployment insurance that uses borrowed money, and which will add $34 billion to the national debt.

“Congress needs to focus on private-sector job creation measures first and foremost. Education and training, and specifically the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), are what will get people back to work,” Enzi said. “We need to reauthorize WIA immediately to help low skill workers get high paying jobs.”  

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