In a 332–94 vote, the U.S. House passed a bipartisan budget deal Thursday night that averts another government shutdown and temporarily relieves some sequestration budget cuts but leaves long-term jobless workers out in the cold and inflicts further harm on federal workers, who have sacrificed more than enough to budget-cutting already.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka’s statement on the budget deal reached by congressional negotiators calls on Congress to extend unemployment benefits:
It is shocking that Republicans have refused to include an extension of unemployment benefits in today’s budget agreement. At the end of December, federal unemployment benefits will expire for 1.3 million jobless workers. Lawmakers must not desert these workers by going home for their own holidays without extending the federal unemployment benefits program.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka responds to the Senate agreement on the "fiscal cliff":
The agreement passed by the Senate last night is a breakthrough in beginning to restore tax fairness and achieves some key goals of working families. It does not cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits. It raises more than $700 billion over 10 years, including interest savings, by ending the Bush income tax cuts for families making more than $450,000 a year. And in recognition of the continuing jobs crisis, it extends unemployment benefits for a year. A strong message from voters and a relentless echo from grassroots activists over the last six weeks helped get us this far.
Where are the jobs? Not in the budget agreement reached over the weekend and passed 269-161 last night by the House. The budget deal, which the Senate passed moments ago, is bad for our country and especially bad for working people. It undermines the nation’s ability to solve the real crisis—America’s jobs crisis.