Energy and Commerce Dems Won't Blink at 15% Unemployment

May 19, 2009

FYI, a version of the release below went out to the following districts: Rick Boucher (VA-09); Bruce Braley (IA-01); G.K. Butterfield (NC-01); Bart Gordon (TN-06); Baron Hill (IN-09); Jim Matheson (UT-02); Jerry McNerney (CA-11); Charlie Melancon (LA-03); Chris Murphy (CT-05); Mike Ross (AR-04); Zack Space (OH-18) and Bart Stupak (MI-01).

Jerry McNerney Won’t Blink at 15% Unemployment
Kills Amendment to Protect Americans from Devestating Unemployment Levels

Washington- Despite all of the rhetoric that Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) has spewed over the last several months about saving American jobs, he didn’t show much concern tonight when he voted against an amendment that would protect Americans in the event the U.S. economy hit an unemployment rate of 15 percent nationwide.

Even after McNerney signed off on spending nearly a trillion dollars of taxpayers hard-earned money in what’s turning out to be an ill-fated attempt to save American jobs, he refused tonight to acknowledge that the worst may be yet to come.  McNerney voted against an amendment that said if the U.S. unemployment rate should exceed 15 percent, the Democrats’ climate bill would cease to be effective.

“When Jerry McNerney thought no one was paying attention, he didn’t seem to mind playing politics with the U.S. economy,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain.  “Jerry McNerney has no excuse for his blatant refusal to ensure the security of American families’ jobs in the wake of their National Energy Tax.”

Jobless Rate Recently Hit 26-Year High:
“The pace of layoffs slowed in April when employers cut 539,000 jobs, the fewest in six months. But the unemployment rate climbed to 8.9 percent, the highest since late 1983, as many businesses remain wary of hiring given all the economic uncertainties.
“The Labor Department tally released Friday wasn’t nearly as deep as the 620,000 job cuts that economists were expecting, and was helped by a burst of government hiring. The rise in the unemployment rate from 8.5 percent in March matched economists’ forecasts.
“The new report underscored the toll the longest recession since World War II has taken on America’s workers and companies.”
“If laid-off workers who have given up looking for new jobs or have settled for part-time work are included, the unemployment rate would have been 15.8 percent in April, the highest on records dating back to 1994.”
“Since the recession began in December 2007, the economy has lost a net total of 5.7 million jobs.
“As the recession eats into sales and profits, companies have turned to layoffs and other cost-cutting measures to survive the storm. Those including holding down workers’ hours, and freezing or cutting pay.
“Job losses in February and March turned out to be deeper, according to revised figures. Employers cut 681,000 positions in February, 30,000 more than previously reported. They cut 699,000 jobs in March, more than the 663,000 first reported.
“The deepest job cuts of the recession — 741,000 came in January. That was the most since the fall of 1949.” (Jeannine Aversa, “Layoffs slow to 539K in April; jobless rate rises,” Associated Press, May 8, 2009)

How much more can California families take?:
A new study shows the devastating effects the National Energy Tax will have on the economy

  • Under cap and trade 1,105,000 jobs could be lost
  • Peak-year unemployment losses could reach 2.5 million

(William W. Beach, David Kreutzer, Ph.D., Karen Campbell, Ph.D. and Ben Lieberman, Heritage Foundation WebMemo #2450, “Son of Waxman-Markey: More Politics Makes for a More Costly Bill,” May 18, 2009)

View the text of the amendment offered by Rep. Fred Upton here: