The best way to grow the economy is to extend unemployment benefits – again, U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said at a Capitol Hill news conference on Thursday.
At the Democrat-led hearing, witnesses spoke “passionately” about the estimated 1.3 million Americans whose unemployment benefits will expire at the end of the year, according to CNS News.
“Economists agree that unemployment benefits remain one of the best ways to grow the economy in a very immediate way,” Pelosi said. “It immediately injects demand into our markets and increases employment. For every dollar spent on unemployment benefits, the economy grows by, according to one estimate, $1.52; by others, $2. So somewhere in that range, but much more than is spent on it.”
Failure to extend the benefits would put 200,000 jobs in jeopardy, Pelosi said, citing Congressional Budget Office data.
“We have a responsibility to the American people,” the minority leader said. These are people who have played by the rules, have lost their job through no fault of their own, and need these benefits in order to survive. So we must extend this insurance before the end of the year, and we must extend it for at least a year.”
Pelosi is hoping to get the measure included in the pending budget deal, but time is running out and House Republicans may not go along, according to CNS News, which reported:
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told Americans on Thursday that he would “surely entertain” a Democratic plan for extending unemployment benefits, but he also said that’s not where the focus should be: “I would argue the president’s real focus ought to be creating a better environment for our economy and creating more jobs for the American people. That’s where the focus is, not more government programs.”
Watch Pelosi’s comments here via CNS News: