Hoyer Remarks at Steering and Policy Committee Hearing on Expiring Unemployment Insurance

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"Thank you for being here. We talk in Washington about big numbers - billions, millions - of people. Too infrequently we talk about individuals, the Stans, the Veras, the Lisas of America that our actions affect immediately and directly on a daily basis.

"I thank you for being here. It takes courage to come here and to express a plight that, as I think it was [Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro] who said, or perhaps [Congressman] Rob Andrews, that when we see one another, the first thing is 'What's your name?' My name is Lisa, my name is Vera, my name is Stan. What's the next question we ask? 'What do you do? What do you do in our society? What do you do to occupy your time from 4:00 a.m. on, productively that makes you feel worthwhile?'

"So not only is this an extraordinary economic damage that we are inflicting but also a psychological [one]. And you, Lisa, you talked about that, and Vera you did as well, and Stan, obviously evidenced that. So we appreciate the fact that you're here to bring home the personal, individual impact that our lack of action has.

"We are scheduled to leave here on the 13th of December, Friday the 13th of December. I'm hopeful that we will not vote to adjourn the Congress of the United States for the year of 2013 without taking care of this issue, to ensure that the Lisas and Veras and Stans of our country - our neighbors, our friends, our daughters, our sons, our fathers and mothers - know that we care and that there is that floor, that help, that hand that reaches out.

"Father, that's what Jesus told us to do, of course, is to reach out and lift up. and help, and hopefully we'll do that. Your testimony I think will make a difference in us doing that. Thank you very much."