Congress, I’m going to be real with you – your priorities are out of whack.
Today, the House Committee on Ways and Means approved six bills to permanently extend certain tax cuts for corporations, to the tune of $300 billion in corporate subsidies over 10 years.
You know what the House didn’t do? Take up the Senate’s bipartisan bill to extend federal emergency unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for nearly 2.6 million Americans who have lost their benefits since the program’s expiration in December. Last month, Senators came together from across the aisle to announce a deal to extend supports for long-term jobless workers – workers who have been unemployed for more than six months and whose state benefits have run out. The Senate passed a bill, sent it to the House, and watched it go nowhere.
House Speaker John Boehner has shown no real interest in bringing the bill to the floor, and although Democrats have tried to force a vote by way of a discharge petition, there’s little hope that the UI extension will go anywhere without Boehner’s backing.
This isn’t the first time we’ve told you just how critical UI benefits are for families who are struggling to make ends meet. Extending emergency benefits would help unemployed workers put food on the table and pay the rent. And with long-term unemployment rates remaining at historic levels, the House’s failure to act has hurt families around the country.
You have to give the House this, though: They’re certainly not hiding where their loyalty lies. Their priorities say it all.