Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke voted “no” on the proposed federal budget under consideration in the House of Representatives today, because the bill eliminates access to unemployment benefits for millions of Americans and fails to adequately fund education, basic research, and child nutrition. The bill passed by a vote of 332 to 94.
The bill restores only some of the funding levels that were reduced as a result of sequestration, a broad reduction in expenditures that has undermined the federal government’s ability to fulfill basic functions, such as workplace safety inspections and the processing of veteran’s benefits.
“I had hoped that we could reach an agreement to end sequestration entirely. As a matter of policy, sequestration has harmed our economy, and prevented millions of Americans from finding a job,” said Congresswoman Clarke. “Unfortunately, this proposed budget fails to fulfill our commitment to the millions of Americans who want to work, but cannot find a job. It is a cruel irony that, in the Holiday Season, millions of people will become ineligible for the unemployment benefits without which their families will become destitute, unable to afford even the basic necessities.”
As a result of this agreement, unemployment benefits for 1.3 million people will expire on December 28. Another 1.9 million people will become ineligible for benefits between January and June of 2014.
In addition, the budget increases required contributions from federal employees to their pension program, despite that their salaries have been frozen for several years.
U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.