Transcript: Sen. Chuck Schumer’s remarks on the failure to extend unemployment benefits – Jan. 16, 2014

Partial transcript of press briefing remarks by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) on the failure to extend unemployment insurance on Jan. 16, 2014:

Right now as they continue to filibuster an extension of unemployment insurance, Republicans are ignoring the sea change that’s happening in our politics across the country. The issues that used to dominate – deficits, Obamacare – are fading further from the forefront everyday and the economic future of the middle-class has taken their place as the top issue that we face today. People across the country want Democrats and Republicans to come together, end the gridlock and focus on job creation and boosting middle-class incomes. When people are angry at government, they’re not angry at government doing things; they’re angry at government not doing things. And our Republican colleagues have had, as their MO, obstruction for the longest of time. Extending unemployed insurance would both focus on job creation and get our economy going and help those who need help and deserve help. It would create 240,000 jobs this year and put money back into the pockets of the middle-class. Republicans can certainly choose to stand in the way of growing the economy and helping people who are long-term unemployed but they do it at their peril. That’s why I think at the end of the day, Republicans are going to come around and help us pass an extension of unemployment insurance. The longer they obstruct, the longer they act as a drag on our recovery, the more pressure they’re going to face. When Republicans head back to their states this week, they’re going to hear from people who have lost or are about to lose their unemployment benefits, and they may well change their minds. They’ll hear from small business owners who need to have people spending money in their stores and they’ll realize that what Americans want us to do more than anything is help our economy continue to recover. As time goes on, the political price of failing to join with us to pass unemployment insurance is only going to rise for the Republicans. Hopefully, sooner or later, they’ll realize the price is too high and they’ll do the right thing. ###

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