Key Vote No on Further Extending Federal Unemployment Insurance

As one of our over 6 million FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to contact your senators and urge them to vote NO on the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act, S. 1845. Sponsored by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), this bill would extend unemployment benefits for three months, while failing to offset the cost of this extension.

Federal unemployment insurance has typically been used as an emergency measure during times of great economic unrest to help offset the worst of an extended recession.  Unfortunately, since the recession of 2008, the length of time that individuals may receive these benefits has been consistently extended. The entire purpose of the unemployment insurance program is to provide a temporary benefit while the recipient does everything possible to seek a new job.

One of the reasons that unemployment benefits are temporary is that long-term unemployment is a symptom of a larger problem.  Rather than throwing more money at those who have lost their jobs, Congress should be addressing the root causes of the lack of job creation in the economy.  The means addressing the stifling burden of taxation and regulation, and the uncertainty that these create in the economy.  An economy left to grow will take care of the unemployment problem organically by producing new jobs, eliminating the very need for these frequent – and expensive – federal interventions.

Meanwhile, taxpayers are paying for these indefinite unemployment benefits.  Even just this three month extension will cost taxpayers about $6.5 billion, which Senator Harry Reid has refused to even consider offsetting with spending reductions elsewhere.  Even if the unemployment extension is considered an “emergency” expenditure, the government should learn to live within its own means by budgeting for priorities, both expected and unexpected, just as any individual or family must do.

Thus, I urge you to call your senators and ask them to vote NO on the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act, S. 1845.  We will count their vote as a KEY VOTE when calculating FreedomWorks’ Economic Freedom Scorecard for 2013. The Scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of Congress who consistently vote to support economic freedom.Sincerely,

Matt Kibbe

President and CEO


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