Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–March 7, 2014. Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth delivered remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives in favor of extending unemployment insurance for more than 2 million Americans, 200,000 of them Veterans. The text of and video of her speech are below.
Mr. Speaker, The unemployment rate for Veterans is more than 10%. 900,000 Veterans are receiving food stamps each month. Nearly $104 million in food stamps were redeemed at military commisarries in Fiscal year 2013.
Yet, the majority has repeatedly failed to bring the extension of unemployment insurance to a vote. Since it expired last year, more than 2 million individuals, including 200,000 Veterans, have been cut off from this vital lifeline.
I know firsthand how important this program is for hard working Americans. After I completed flight school and returned home to Illinois I relied on unemployment insurance to help me transition back to civilian life.
Unemployment rate for Veterans recently separated from the military is now sitting at 10%. 246,000 Veterans who served since 9/11 are now out of work.
For those coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan this transition has been especially challenging. They have enough to worry about without suffering from cuts to unemployment insurance.
Taking an up-or-down vote on extending unemployment insurance is the right thing to do. Mr. Speaker, we need to renew this crucial lifeline for those searching for jobs and getting back on their feet.
Our Veterans and unemployed have not given up on finding work, and we cannot give up on them.