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Floor Speeches

Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2009

Mr. PASCRELL. Thank you.

Mr. Speaker, last week we saw that 5.8 million Americans were collecting unemployment benefits at the end of October. I want to remind my friends on both sides of the aisle that in the first quarter of this year, we saw a loss of 691,000. The stimulus went into effect--partially, anyway--after we passed it in February with no votes from the other side, and in the third quarter of this year, we're at a loss of 256,000. That's a gain of 435,000 jobs. You compare that to the last year, the last 4 years of the former administration, and I think that the stimulus has been a great help.

This Congress is working hard to get people back on their feet. For this reason, it is imperative that, today, we pass the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act.

I am proud to say that we've also extended the homebuyer assistance through the first-time homebuyer tax credit while putting in place new and significant fraud protection. I think that's important. It came out in Mr. Lewis' hearings, and we've done something about that.

I applaud Chairman LEWIS for convening a hearing through the Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee on the first-time homebuyer tax credit, which brought light to some of the abuses that were plaguing this important credit. The American people need to know that this Congress is working to remedy the insufficient regulation and oversight that has plagued our Nation for too long.

I urge all my colleagues on both sides to take swift and decisive action to pass this legislation.


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