Jobs and Unemployment
Fighting for Jobs & Standing Up for the Unemployed
The Great Recession has hit our community hard. Thousands lost their jobs through no fault of their own and are struggling to find gainful employment. At the same time, college graduates are struggling to enter the most competitive job market in generations.
I do not understand when and why people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own became the enemy. In August, Rep. Hank Johnson and I co-hosted a jobs fair and townhall meeting at Atlanta Technical College as part of the Congressional Black Caucus “For the People” Initiative. This event was a painful reminder of how many people are hurting right now – struggling to make ends meet.
From the beginning of the economic crisis, I have worked on three priorities:
- Creating livable wage jobs in Metro Atlanta;
- Protecting the unemployed; and
- Helping to grow and protect assets and small business.
I have long supported legislation to create an additional tier of emergency unemployment benefits and provide a long-term extension of emergency benefits. I assisted in efforts to fight discrimination against the long-term unemployed, and I also cosponsored legislation which creates a national Civilian Conservation Corps to employ the long-term unemployed and underemployed and bills to train, educate, and hire unemployed urban youth.
A recent Pew Center report on the impact of the recession on Americans highlighted an issue about which I have long been concerned – why have certain communities been hit so hard and what can we do to prevent this recurring trend? The answer lies in asset creation and education. Earlier this year, I reintroduced the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Assets for Independence Reauthorization Act which helps low-income individuals save towards the purchase of a home, starting a small business, or further their education. These types of public-private partnerships have a long-standing record of truly breaking the cycle of poverty and should be the center-piece of any long-term, economic recovery plan.
More on Jobs and Unemployment
This week Rep. John Lewis joined his Democratic colleagues to sign a Discharge Petition to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. If 218 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sign the petition, it would bring a minimum wage bill to the floor for a vote. Speaker John Boehner has previously said he will not allow a vote on raising the minimum wage.
Yesterday Rep. John Lewis attended a ceremony at the White House where President Barack Obama introduced his new initiative, My Brother's Keeper, a White House program serving young African American men and boys. Rep. Lewis made these comments:
“President Barack Obama presented an inspiring vision of the future to the Congress and the American people tonight. An America built to last should certainly be the hope of every member of Congress and every citizen of this nation.
WASHINGTON--Today one of the least productive Congresses in recent history turned its attention to H. J. Res 98 for the only full day of voting scheduled this week. The resolution, unlikely to move in the Senate, expresses partisan disapproval of the President’s authority to extend the debt limit. Republican Presidents from Reagan to Bush raised the debt ceiling numerous times during their tenure without any complaint from Republican conservatives, though the deficit bloated more during these administrations than any others in the past 30 years. Rep.