(This post appeared on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s blog.)
Last week, the House unanimously approved legislation to extend a range of emergency relief and job creating funding critical to millions of families that were set to expire on Sunday, February 28th including:
Extends unemployment benefits, including the increased payouts and longer duration of benefits from the Recovery Act
Extends the COBRA health insurance subsidy for people who have lost their jobs
Authorizes the highway, highway safety, transit and motor carrier safety programs of the Department of Transportation
Delays a scheduled 21.2% cut in Medicare physician payments to protect Medicare beneficiaries' access to physicians
Extends two temporary improvements to the Small Business Administration's loan guarantee program, raising the percentage of loan amounts that the SBA can guarantee and allowing SBA to waive or reduce loan fees
YES on the 2001 Bush Tax Cuts -- Increases Deficit by $1.35 Trillion over 10 years
YES on 2003 Bush Tax Cuts -- Increases Deficit by $349.7 Billion over 10 years
YES on the GOP's 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug Bill -- Increases Deficit by $395 Billion over 10 years
These three bills alone added nearly $2 trillion to the deficit.
Last fall, the House approved legislation adding up to 20 weeks to the federal unemployment benefits. Senate Republicans delayed action on this bill, which ultimately passed by a unanimous vote of 98-0, for more than a month. During the delay more than 200,000 people stopped receiving checks when they needed them the most. It's time for Senate Republicans to stop this obstruction.
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