Tell Boehner: Stop “Throwing Spaghetti,” Renew Unemployment Insurance

Isaiah J. Poole

A few days ago you were able to virtually shut down the phones at House Speaker John Boehner’s office in response to our effort to get your voice heard on renewing unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless.

It’s time to do it again. Our click-to-call line is open at 661-BOEHNER. Make the call, and urge your friends and people in your social networks to do the same.

We need to do this because Boehner continues to make morally untenable demands in exchange for a vote to ensure that 3 million people (and counting) who are looking for work but can’t find it can still pay for basic necessities – including the costs associated with finding a job.

Boehner’s excuse has been that the Democrats in the House “have not put forward anything with regard to how we would create more jobs,” and he would not support aid to the jobless in the absence of what he considers real job-creation measures.

This is false. Democrats have put several job-creation measures forward. The most expansive job-creation proposal came from the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which would have created close to 3 million jobs in two years. But setting that proposal aside, there were numerous substantive job-creation proposals put forward by the Democrats in their alternative to the House Republican budget written by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and in the budget proposal submitted by the White House.

The Republican job-creation ideas, on the other hand, aren’t about job-creation at all. They are about loosening regulations on corporations and ramming through construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Whatever the merits of the pipeline, it is wrong to say to someone who has been pounding the pavement for more than six months without success trying to find a job that they should exhaust their savings, lose their home and likely go hungry for the sake of an oil pipeline. And certainly we shouldn’t be asking struggling job-seekers to suffer so that power companies can continue to, for example, spew pollutants into the air without being held to account.

On Monday, White House spokesman Jay Carney was right when he called Boehner and House Republicans out on “an attempt to throw spaghetti against the wall on sort of ideological things that have nothing to do with making sure that these benefits get to the people who need them.”

It’s time to tell Boehner to stop throwing spaghetti against the wall in an effort to avoid giving the long-term unemployment the aid that they need as they struggle to find work in this still-hostile economy. Call 661-BOEHNER to send the message.

Also, at 2 p.m. today, join the Coalition on Human Needs and other organizations on its #RenewUI Twitter storm. That’s when people send messages on Twitter at the same time to magnify their impact. The members who are the focus of this afternoon’s Twitter storm are Republican Reps. Rodney Davis of Illinois (@RodneyDavis) and Dan Benishek of Michigan (@CongressmanDan).

Suggested Twitter messages include “@CongressmanDan Tell @SpeakerBoehner to schedule a UI floor vote ASAP with no harmful amendments; then please vote for it. #RenewUI” and “@CongressmanDan It is time to #RenewUI and help the thousands of unemployed workers in MI – Push @SpeakerBoehner to bring UI to the floor.”

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