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Rep. Lee Gets Ready, Jesse Jr Submits Resumes of Unemployed

Rep. Barbara Lee

LEE 99er UPDATE: Today, I spoke briefly with Rep. Barbara Lee, who along with Rep. Bobby Scott, pushed legislative language to help people who have already ran through their unemployment insurance (the 99ers). The two lawmakers offered legislation in late December to help the 99ers after a push to add the language to the $800 billion tax bill failed. Look for them to re-introduce 99er legislation within the next three weeks.  The House is effectively out of session next week.  They will come in Monday and Tuesday for the State of the Union and be out again on Wednesday.  The last week of January, as mandated by the schedule of new Speaker John Boehner, the House is out of session.  Is the process slow? Yes. To make matters slower was the assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, the King/President’s week holiday and the new GOP schedule.  That schedule has the House in for 11 weeks less than the schedule last year under Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  With all that aside, the wee k to keep an eye regarding 99er legislation is the first two weeks of February.  Could another member submit legislation? Yes.

JESSE JR SUBMITS FIRST GROUP OF RESUMES of UNEMPLOYED. While House Republicans focus their agenda on repealing health care the issue everyone outside the beltway is concerned about is jobs.  In a bit of a replay from last year when House Democrats focused on health care instead of jobs for almost six months, House GOP leadership appears to be doing the same thing.  Meanwhile, the unemployment rate hovers at 9% for everyone and 15% for black Americans.  These staggering rates of unemployment have not been seen since the Great Depression.  Interestingly, there are members who have decided to put much of their focus on the issue of unemployment.  Rep. Jesse Jackson has submitted to first group of resumes to be printed in the Congressional Record in an effort to put focus on unemployment in America.

Rep. Jackson

Press release from office of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL): JACKSON SUBMITS RESUMES TO DRAMATIZE UNEMPLOYMENT Peaceful Protest of Unemployment Problem Will Continue until Economic Rights are Guaranteed — Today, Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. issued the following statement: “Recently, I issued a call for unemployed, underemployed and economically insecure Americans to send me their resumes as a way to protest the shameful condition of unemployment that our country has tolerated for too long.  Today, I submitted thousands of resumes for the Congressional Record so that the faces and stories of the unemployed could be put front and center before our government.

“Sixty-seven years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized in his State of the Union Address that the Presidency and Congress were inadequate to solve the unemployment problem that persisted into the 1930s.  He called for an economic bill of rights that would provide fundamental economic security to all Americans through the right to a job, the right to health care, the right to a good education, and other rights.  He went to the only vehicle that is big enough to solve unemployment: the Constitution.

“I am accepting resumes and the stories behind them from unemployed and economically insecure Americans at resumesforAmerica@mail.house.gov.  Sending me a resume will not get anyone a job, nor will the resumes be forwarded to anybody who is hiring.  But by inserting these resumes into the record we can make sure that the government is focused on ending unemployment.  I will continue this peaceful protest of our jobs problem until Democrats and Republicans alike can come together to eliminate the fear of unemployment from our freedom construct.”

Rep Jackson Lee

Congressman Jackson’s remarks on the floor of the House are as follows, as prepared for delivery: “On January 11, 1944, in his 3rd term, President Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized the limitations of the Presidency and Congress in addressing the nation’s most serious problem: unemployment.

“So, he proposed changing the only vehicle capable of eliminating unemployment, the Constitution.  “Roosevelt suggested that adding fundamental economic rights to the Constitution was the only way to truly address our unemployment problem. “67 years later, to dramatize the shameful jobs condition that our nation and the marketplace tolerates, I have asked the nation’s unemployed, underemployed and economically insecure to send their resumes to me at resumesforAmerica@mail.house.gov.  “Then, I will submit them to the Congressional Record on their behalf as a means of protesting our unaddressed, shameful unemployment problem.

“I am not promising anyone a job, I just believe that the wealthiest nation in the world should do something about the jobs loophole in our freedom construct.  Until Democrats and Republicans in Congress or the White House eliminate the fear of unemployment from our freedom and liberty construct, I will continue this peaceful demonstration by accepting resumes at resumesforAmerica@mail.house.gov.

“To paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr., If America can put a man on the moon, and if today we can contemplate putting men and women on Mars, then we should be able to put a man or a woman on their own two feet right here in America.”