By Teresa Welsh |
If we are going to extend unemployment benefits for a 10th time, we should also finally take steps to reform and improve the Unemployment Insurance program, and we should pay for it (the first nine extensions have added $180 billion to our debt).
The problem with the current way things are done is that additional weeks of unemployment checks have done too little to help people get back to work. The proof is all around us. Despite the president's stimulus expansions--which produced a record 99 weeks of unemployment checks--the unemployment rate is well above 8 percent (a far cry from the 6.2 percent the president predicted). The unemployment rate has been above 8 percent for 34 straight months and it is past due that we implement changes to make the program more effective at returning the unemployed back to work.
House Republicans have and will continue to push for commonsense reforms of the unemployment program in five key ways:
These reforms are a way to extend the unemployment program in a responsible manner that will help people get back to work--which should be the ultimate goal of the unemployment benefits system.
About Geoff Davis U.S. Representative, Kentucky's 4th District
Howard Rosen Resident Visiting Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics
Sander Levin U.S. Representative, Michigan’s 12th District
Carl E. Van Horn Professor of Public Policy and Director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University
Lloyd Doggett U.S. Representative, Texas’ 25th District
James Sherk Senior Policy Analyst in Labor Economics at the Heritage Foundation