Nevada’s Heller, Ensign vote for unemployment extension
Despite opposing the extension of unemployment benefits without specifically addressing how to pay for them, both of Nevada’s Republican members of Congress voted for the extension that passed the House and Senate this week and was signed by President Obama Thursday.
Sen. John Ensign and Rep. Dean Heller both issued statements saying the Democrats were wrong not to adopt legislation to pay for the benefits rather than add the cost to the $13 trillion national debt. But, both men said, those Americans unable to find work need the assistance.
“These benefits need to be extended, no question about it,” said Ensign. “Republicans want to do this in a responsible way by paying for the cost of this legislation up front with cuts in wasteful government spending.”
They proposed taking the $34 billion out of unspent stimulus money but the Democrats voted against that.
Heller referred to “failed policies” of the Congress and Obama administration.”
“I do not believe the unemployed should be held accountable for these failures,” he said in a floor statement.
Heller said there was an opportunity to pay for the benefits up front: “It’s not that you can’t do it. It’s that you won’t do it.”
He also charged that members of Congress were “ducking and running” by passing the unemployment legislation, then adjourning for “a six week vacation.”