WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the Department of Labor reported that new applications for unemployment benefits have reached a 26-year high:
“Last week, the number of Americans filing unemployment claims reached a 26-year high. Today’s dismal jobless figures are just another in a long series of numbers adding up to a tough economy for American workers and their families. President Bush’s reckless and flawed economic policies helped bring us to this point; and today, he and Congressional Republicans continue to stand in the way of the help we need.
“President Bush is blocking an essential economic recovery package that would create jobs with infrastructure-renewal projects, invest in new energy technologies, extend unemployment insurance, and help cash-strapped states provide healthcare. As bad economic news mounts—and as even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and conservative economists add their support—the President’s opposition to the recovery package becomes more incomprehensible by the day. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are threatening to block legislation to stave off the collapse of the American auto industry, on which three million jobs depend.
“While Republicans continue to neglect our Nation’s urgent needs, Democrats are striving to help millions of Americans get back to work. The Democratic Congress will ensure that President-elect Obama can sign recovery legislation into law as soon as he takes office.”