Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) discussed the need for Congress to act to extend emergency unemployment insurance on MSNBC's "The Ed Show" this evening. Below are excerpts and a link to the video.
“Senator [Harry] Reid has said they want to do a 90-day extension while we talk about what can be done on a longer term [basis]. Ninety days to make sure these 1.4 million people, of which 20,000 are veterans, who are without their unemployment check.… Right now, we need to pass immediately an extension where we'll get these 1.4 million people with some sustenance so they can support themselves and their families. It’s a human emergency.”
“The majority of people in America, the majority of people in my state and district believe this unemployment insurance ought to be extended. They know how hard it is to find a job. They know that there are 3 people looking for jobs when there’s only 1 job available for them. So they know the adverse consequences to real people that this has caused and the agony and pain that it is causing. So they want to see us get this done. I hope the Republicans will listen…. You've got to do something. Talk is not enough.”
“So what we really need to do now is have an immediate action to stop the hemorrhaging, stop this emergency that is occurring just days after Christmas, just days after a celebration of giving and caring... I'm very supportive of what [Senator] Reid is suggesting - do it now. Do it for 90 days and then yes, let's talk about a permanent way we can get this done. Historically… we've almost always done this on an emergency basis under Republican presidents and Democrat presidents without offsets.”
On the Minimum Wage:
“The American dream is … to have a good life, not just a survival life. That's not what America is about. But the minimum wage ought to be the absolute minimum we expect people to pay to work for a living. … to give them the opportunity to earn a wage that they can survive on in the richest country on the face of the Earth. That's the issue. … $10.10 is a minimum, it's not a ceiling, it's not the maximum. It's not what we want people to aspire to. It is what we ought to do as a country to make sure there is a minimum.”