Cantwell Says Maintaining Safety Net Crucial in Tough Economic Times

Issues statement on GOP stalling tactics of extenders bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) issued the following statement on the vote Thursday afternoon in which the Republican minority prevented the Senate from moving ahead toward passage of legislation extending unemployment benefits and other vital measures:
“The refusal by my Republican colleagues to allow this critical legislation to move ahead amounts to an abdication of responsibility and a breach of faith with those Americans hit hardest by this recession. I am disappointed that despite majority support, we have not yet been able to move ahead with legislation to extend unemployment benefits. The filibuster of the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act is hurting out-of-work Americans who need income to support their families while they seek employment in a tough jobs market. This week alone, 900,000 Americans have stopped receiving unemployment insurance benefits – and the minority party won’t let us extend a helping hand.
“We have made every effort to work in a bipartisan fashion to get the job done. We cut other critical programs out of this bill, reducing it substantially from $200 billion down to $110 billion – and 70 percent of that amount is paid for with offsetting revenue or spending cuts. Meanwhile, the bill includes tax cuts for families paying for college, for teachers, and for Washington state residents who can reduce federal tax payments by writing off their state and local sales taxes.
“I am committed to working with the Senate leadership to continue our work to extend these important tax cuts and emergency benefits. We owe no less to those who are struggling in these tough economic times.”
For Senator Cantwell’s previous comments on the extenders legislation, click here.