Butterfield Slams Proposed Mandate to Unemployment Benefits
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) took to the House Floor for a second time in a week to speak out against a Republican proposal in the conference committee charged with finding a way to extend the payroll tax cut through 2012. The conferees have been at odds over a proposal that would require unemployed Americans to have a high school diploma or be enrolled in an equivalent program to receive unemployment insurance benefits.
“To require people, who would otherwise be eligible for unemployment benefits, to now either have a high school diploma or be enrolled in a G.E.D. program is discriminatory and despicable,” said Butterfield. “Adult education might be useful, but is largely unattainable due to significant cuts to adult education and job training programs. Creating an education mandate as a condition of eligibility to receive unemployment insurance benefits is punitive, misguided, and particularly egregious—even by current Republican standards.”
Butterfield’s floor statement is below.
Statement by Congressman G. K. Butterfield on Unemployment Benefits
Mr. Speaker. I rise today in outrage of House and Senate Republican conferees for attempting to include an education requirement as a condition to receive unemployment insurance benefits. To require people, who would otherwise be eligible for unemployment benefits, to now either have a high school diploma or be enrolled in a G.E.D. program is discriminatory and despicable.
Adding contingencies to this crucial relief does nothing to create jobs or address the real causes of unemployment. It is a difficult time to be unemployed in America, but Republicans seem particularly determined to make it even more difficult by kicking the unemployed while they are down.
With less than a month to craft a long-term payroll tax measure, I urge Republican conferees to stop obstructing the process by insisting on distracting proposals that are only meant to score political points. I am strongly opposed to any education requirement to receive unemployment benefits, and I suggest my colleagues to do the same.