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Archived: Time To Pass the Unemployment Extension Bill Is Now

The United States House of Representatives is spending a great deal of time debating two bills, HR 3010 and HR 10, intended to dispense with many of the regulations that protect water quality, and safeguard other environmental and public health concerns.

Both HR 3010 and HR 10 would roll back basic safeguards that protect consumers and our environment.

While the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2011 and the REINS Act Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2011 are important concerns, they are not so urgent that they should be taking attention away from the issue of reauthorizing the extension of unemployment benefits for millions of Americans, scheduled to end on Dec. 31.

The nation as a whole has seen some gains in jobs over recent months, but the increases are far below what is needed to put the millions of unemployed Americans in need of a job back to work.

The UCLA Anderson School of Management economic forecast released Wednesday, predicts that despite recent encouraging employment numbers, the sluggish national and international economy will continue to keep the state’s unemployment numbers high through 2012.

Perhaps the issue is not getting its due attention and swift action because the unemployed don’t have the deep pockets needed to lobby members of Congress.

You can bet, however, that there are plenty of lobbyists from the banking, utility, oil producers, food manufacturers and other industrial giants just waiting outside members’ offices, holding out big contribution checks, helping to push both HR 3010 and HR 10 up the chain of approval.

Again, there is nothing in these bills that can’t wait.

On the other hand, the bill to extend the unemployment benefits of 1.8 million workers, jobless through no fault of their own, should be the most important bill the House is moving toward approval.

These are American families with children who will find it hard to survive without the small unemployment benefits they get weekly.

Small businesses don’t need deregulation as badly as they need customers, and the truth is many of the people who receive unemployment benefits can often be counted among those customers.

It’s time to pass the extension for unemployment benefits.