The following is a transcript of the weekly Democratic radio address, delivered by Congresswoman Darlene Hooley:
Good morning. I'm Congresswoman Darlene Hooley from Oregon.
My state has had the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of unemployment in the country for much of the last three years.
During that time, Oregon has lost more than 57,000 jobs. People in my part of the country are hurting. They are looking for jobs while struggling to feed and shelter their families and worrying about having their electricity or heat turned off just before the holidays. Sadly, I have talked with too many parents who have had to tell their children there will be no presents under the tree this year.
Countless other Americans are in similar positions. Nationwide, a total of nine million Americans remain unemployed. Nearly one and a half million people have run through their unemployment benefits and countless more are in danger of losing them soon.
All of this is the result of economic policies that are badly off track.
That's why Democrats are fighting to extend unemployment insurance before the Republican Congress plans to adjourn for the year. This is not just the right thing to do for a few families; it is the right thing to do for the country.
In fact, there may be no better way to boost the economy. Families will spend this money right away on necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, and medical care. And each dollar spent on unemployment benefits will end up boosting the economy by $1.73. That makes a significant difference in our local communities.
But real relief for the unemployed won't come until we begin creating new jobs.
Three years of unprecedented job loss have made it clear: the economic policies of this Administration and the Republicans in Congress are not putting people back to work.
Even as this session of Congress comes to a close, there is still time to turn that around. There is still time to take the recent signs of economic growth and extend them into a recovery that can help families all across America. Because — let's be clear — there can be no real recovery without the creation of more jobs.
Democrats in Congress have proposed tax incentives for small businesses to invest in new workers and new technology. We have written bipartisan legislation designed to keep manufacturing jobs here at home. We are fighting to extend the Child Tax Credit to families who were left out of the Administration's most recent giveaway to the wealthiest members of our society. And we are working to pass a new highway bill that could create 1.7 million new jobs in construction and other fields.
These steps would go a long way to improve America's economy. And we can do it without abandoning fiscal discipline or saddling our children with long-term debt that will slow growth for decades. And we can do it in a bipartisan way. And we can do it now.
This holiday season, let's give the American people a real vision for a prosperous future, instead of visions of sugarplums.
This is Congresswoman Darlene Hooley. Thank you for listening.