Whip's Report E-Newsletter
For Immediate Release: 
June 13, 2008
Contact Info: 
Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130
Leader's Report
majorityleader.house.gov · (202) 225-3130

This week, Democrats took action to help American families struggling under the dismal Bush economy.  The passage of a temporary extension of unemployment insurance benefits will help 3.8 million Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and are having difficulty finding a new job in the weak job market.  Unemployment benefits, which are typically available for 26 weeks, will now be available for an additional 13 weeks.  For states with an unemployment rate higher than the national average, an additional 13 weeks of benefits will be available on top of that.
Extending unemployment benefits is not an act of charity, but an act of compassion.  Over the last five months, 325,000 jobs have been lost.  Families are facing lower incomes, exploding gas and food prices, and increasing health care costs, making it more difficult just to make ends meet.  This legislation is the right thing to do for our workers and our economy, and I hope the Senate will act on it soon.

The House also passed legislation this week that will keep our nation moving - literally.  The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act makes needed investments to improve and modernize Amtrak, and to expand intercity passenger rail systems.  As gas prices continue to rise, this bill is an important part of moving toward a more energy independent future.

Yesterday, I held a press conference with Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, Ways and Means Subcommittee Chairman Richard Neal, and Rep. John Tanner (TN-08).  We discussed the refusal of Senate Republicans to responsibly offset the costs of a critical package of tax credits that will benefit American businesses and families.  We urged them to work with us to move this legislation without making our children and grandchildren pay the cost.  I made it very clear: the House will not vote on a tax extenders bill that is not paid-for.  We are standing firm, with over 170 House Democrats (and counting) signing a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urging him to join us in passing a fully offset bill.

Next week, the House will complete consideration of the NASA Authorization bill, as well as take up the Iraq supplemental spending bill.  We will also consider the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act and the Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act.
Sincerely yours,
Steny H. Hoyer

P.S. Please invite your friends and family to sign up for this newsletter to learn about what House Democrats are doing to lead America in a new direction.

Hoyer Lauds Passage of UI Bill as "the Right Thing to Do for Workers and Our Economy" 
Hoyer lauded the House passage of a temporary extension of unemployment insurance benefits yesterday, saying that this extension is an act of compassion for those who lost their job through no fault of their own.
Read release
Hoyer Floor Statement: UI Extension Vital for Americans Struggling in the Poor Bush Economy
Watch Hoyer on CNBC's Squawkbox discussing unemployment benefits

House Democrats Urge Senate Republicans to Support Paid-For Tax Extenders Bill
At a press conference yesterday, Hoyer released a letter from House Democrats calling on Senate Republicans to support a paid-for tax extenders bill.
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Read letter signed by 170 House Democrats to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

Majority Leader Hoyer's Statement on Supreme Court Decision Regarding Detainees
Hoyer praised the Supreme Court decision issued yesterday that found that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have the right to challenge their detention in American courts.  He stated that while we must pursue those who would do us harm, we must not sacrifice our ideals. 
Read release