Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, declared Wednesday that there will be “no Christmas for Congress” if unemployment benefits are not extended.
“There will be no Christmas for Congress unless there is an extension of unemployment insurance before we leave here,” Harkin said at a rally on Capitol Hill with unemployed Americans including teachers and construction workers.
“My Republican colleagues say we can’t afford to extend it, they say our top priority must be cutting the deficit, now that’s interesting because the same Republicans who just two weeks ago in this so-called super committee demanded that the top tax rate for the wealthy be reduced to 28 percent down from 35 percent
“To state the obvious, $300 bucks a week, which is the average unemployment benefit — what a windfall huh? I supposed you’re going to go, like Newt Gingrich, you’re going to go to Tiffany’s and shop on $300 bucks a week, huh? That barely buys the basics for a family.”
Unemployment insurance benefits are set to expire December 31.