On the House floor Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) spoke out about the House’s decision to tie an extension in unemployment benefits to $130 billion in additional war funding, “What a cruel choice Congress is forcing on people out of work. Put your sons and daughters on the firing line and we will pay you for being in the unemployment line.”
Here is the video courtesy of Crooks and Liars:
Rep. Kucinich said, “The word is that with over 15 million Americans out of work and desperately in need of extended unemployment benefits, Congress will put unemployment compensation benefits into a bill which will give another $130 billion for war.”
He continued, “Remember, our Democratic Party took control of the Congress based on widespread opposition to the Iraq war. Unfortunately, we are now telling the American people that the only way they will get unemployment compensation is to support another $130 billion to keep wars going. What a cruel choice Congress is forcing on people out of work. Put your sons and daughters on the firing line and we will pay you for being in the unemployment line.”
Kucinich concluded by asking the question many on the left are asking themselves, “What a message to young Americans. No jobs for young people, except to go to war. No chance for young people to go to college and have health care unless they learn to kill or be killed. Support this war, we tell the people; the war which creates death, war which creates poverty, war which creates unemployment and we will pay you for being unemployed. Is this really the best we can do?”
Just when you start to think that there are no true liberals remaining in the Democratic Party, here comes Dennis Kucinich to restore your faith. Kucinich made a great point. Why do we have to tie unemployment benefits to war funding? The Democrats have enough of a majority that they should be able to pass an extension of unemployment benefits without any Republican votes.
In fact, this could be viewed as a great tactic for the 2010 elections. Why aren’t Democrats forcing Republicans to vote their positions? Don’t give those who whining about the cost unemployment extensions an out but letting them claim that they voted for the bill because they are supporting the troops. If House Democrats can’t even stand up for unemployment benefits, what good are they?