Chalk another “success” up for House Republicans in their jihad against the economic recovery. They’ve caused the economy to lose nearly $5 billion since they refused to renew extended unemployment compensation for more than 2.2 million Americans. Mind you, this $5 billion isn’t all that House Republicans have irresponsibly and for partisan political purposes cost the US taxpayer, as their IRS witch hunts, Benghazi hearings, and ObamaCare repeal votes and hearings haven’t exactly been cheap.
The U.S. economy has lost $4.7 billion ($4,698,892,545 to be exact – see the breakdown below) in the first three months of the year due to the Dec. 28 expiration of federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation, according to an analysis released today Monday by Ways and Means Committee Democrats.
Sandy Levin (D-MI) is not impressed. He knows, like most people with at least a modicum of intelligence, that unemployment is not just for the unemployed, but it also helps to boost the economy. He wearily explained this fact again in case any Republicans were listening, “Unemployment insurance has played a vital role in our economic recovery and the program’s expiration has drained billions of dollars from state economies during the last three months.”
The Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member tried to shame the House Republicans into helping America as the Senate is, “Hundreds of thousands of jobs are at stake, as are the livelihoods of millions of Americans laid off through no fault of their own. The Senate is taking another bipartisan step on the long-road to extending this critical lifeline today and the House needs to also act to stand with job-seeking Americans.”
Last week, Senate Republicans shamed House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) over his refusal to help the economy and the jobless to no avail. So it’s sort of the Sane Senators Versus the House Republicans in a battle to the death.
But, you know, this House. They don’t want to help America, so this argument might be the wrong tact to take. It’s tough to know with modern day Republicans, between their lusting after Putin and their frat boy tweets to world leaders, just what kind of tone should be set when attempting to have policy discussions.
Anyway. The world carries on without them so here are some facts provided by the Ways and Means Committee Democrats, and yes, they are partisan but the source information is not and let us not forget, neither is the issue or the agenda. Their source is the U.S. Department of Labor, “EUC Program Activity.” Oh, wait, Republicans don’t trust the Department of Labor anymore either- something about a birth certificate or a conspiracy with Obama to fool them all or DOL boogeymen under their beds. So maybe this is just for the sane folks. Which makes it perfect. After all, before Obama, extending long term unemployment was just something Congress did because it was helpful for the economy. Now it’s suddenly a partisan thing for House Republicans.
The state-by-state projections for the three-month period are based on the total federal unemployment insurance that Americans received in each state during the last three months of 2013. Nationwide, nearly 72,000 people are losing unemployment insurance, on average, every week – adding to the 2.2 million Americans who have already lost their benefits.
Yes, the 5 billion dollar fail is all due to their partisan poutfest over unemployment benefits. You see, the Senate has put forth a bipartisan agreement to pay for the renewal, but that’s not good enough for House Republicans, who claim some kind of bizarre moral superiority regarding fiscal responsibility, when in actuality they are tossing money into the trash just to be spiteful.
Republicans against the economy — to the death!
Estimated Lost Unemployment Benefits in the First Three Months of 2014 Due to the Shutdown of the Federal UI Program. Projections Based on EUC spending in last quarter of 2013
State: Projected Lost UI in Jan-March 2014 (total)
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Labor, “EUC Program Activity.”
NOTES: “*” indicates NC had terminated its EUC program prior to the end of 2013.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.