AR-Sen: Lincoln Blasts Boozman For Turning His Back On Unemployed Arkansans

22 Jul

Today, the U.S. House passed an extension of unemployment benefits to help struggling Americans who have been out of work for six months or more, ending a seven-week halt in payments to nearly three million people still unable to find a job. Support was broad with the finally tally being 272 for/152 against the bill. Undeterred, Rep. John Boozman, as promised, voted in the minority. The $34 billion measure, which cleared the Senate Wednesday, now moves to President Obama’s desk to be signed into law.

Blanche Lincoln’s campaign issued the press release below following Boozman’s decision to play “Just Say No (Because It’s Obama)” politics and turn his back on the some 16,000 Arkansans out of work as our economy slowly recovers following the disgraceful mismanagement of the Bush Administration.

Today, for at least the 20th time since 2002, Congressman John Boozman turned his back on Arkansas’s working families when he voted against extending benefits for Arkansans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and continue to seek employment. Earlier this week Congressman Boozman told the Associated Press, “If it’s not paid for, I will vote against it.”

However, during his decade in Washington, D.C. and before he became a candidate for U.S. Senate, Congressman Boozman voted at least five times for unemployment benefits that were not paid for.

“Unemployment benefits allow jobless workers to continue providing basic necessities for their families until they can find work,” Lincoln campaign communications director Katie Laning Niebaum said. “How does Congressman Boozman explain today’s vote against Arkansans facing the toughest economy since the Great Depression?”

Senator Blanche Lincoln has been a consistent supporter of unemployment benefits, which she considers emergency spending.

“I do not believe we should turn our backs on Arkansas workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and continue to seek employment,” Sen. Lincoln said. “That’s why I have consistently voted to extend jobless benefits, which are a proven and highly cost-effective form of economic stimulus.”

Unemployment benefits are a proven economic stimulus …

Extending Unemployment Benefits More Effective Economic Stimulus Than Tax Cuts for Wealthy. According to an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for high-income households would be the least effective way to stimulate growth and job creation, behind measures such as extending unemployment insurance, providing tax incentives for hiring and investing in the country’s infrastructure. [CBPP, 4/1/2010]

Allowing Benefits to Expire is “Recipe for Even Weaker Job Growth.” Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman wrote that “aid to the unemployed creates jobs quickly, while allowing that aid to lapse…is a recipe for even weaker job growth, not in the distant future, but over the next few months. [Krugman Op-Ed, New York Times, 7/4/2010]

Boozman voting record …

Congressman Boozman has voted at least five times for unemployment benefits that were not paid for. [House Vote #432, 6/19/2008; House Vote #683, 10/3/2008; House Vote #223, 5/22/2003; House Vote #7, 1/8/2003; and House Vote #52, 3/7/2002.]

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