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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 5, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Federal unemployment benefits: What is the Republican Party’s alternative?

I again commend The Seattle Times for bringing to our attention the very critical issue of long-term unemployment compensation [“Extend federal unemployment insurance,” Opinion, April 4].

I called Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ Spokane office and asked about her position that we need to “focus on long-term job growth, not a … short-term fix”. Her staff responded with: “Are we going to extend federal unemployment indefinitely?”

No, every piece of legislation on this subject has had an end date for the benefits. None of us has a crystal ball, so instead we have to function as we would in any emergency: We continue to triage the situation and apply the measures that are needed until the emergency subsidies and other “long-term” measures kick in.

By the way, her staff did not have an answer to what her “long-term” job growth measures are. I said that Republicans rejected President Obama’s jobs bill that was on the table about 2 years ago, one answer to the crisis. So, now we wait for this long-term job-growth solution not yet put forth by the Republicans, 5 years after the recession began?

For the people being evicted, not able to afford their phone services (certainly a huge handicap in their job search), not able to afford medication, gas, etc., because their unemployment compensation ran out: What do we say to them about these yet-to-be-unveiled long-term job-growth measures?

Christine Wheeler, Edmonds

Comments | More in Unemployment | Topics: Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Christine Wheeler, Federal unemployment benefits

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