Rep. Maloney on Emergency Supplemental
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) released the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2008 Emergency Supplemental Act.
The Supplemental was taken up as three separate votes. Congresswoman Maloney voted against the first provision to continue funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She voted for the second provision to redeploy our troops within 30 day’s of the bill’s enactment, with a goal of completing withdrawal of all combat troops by December 2009. And, she supported the third provision to provide Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with a new GI Bill, extend unemployment benefits for those hardest hit by the economic downturn, and provide $210 million for the 2010 decennial Census.
“I remain committed to ending the war in Iraq and bringing our troops home safe and soon. That is why I voted against continuing to fund the President’s misguided war and voted for a responsible redeployment of our troops. The Supplemental includes constructive Iraq policy restrictions and makes the economic needs of the American people a priority. The President should sign it.
“The Supplemental invests in our nation’s veterans. It would create a new GI Bill to restore full, four-year college scholarships to the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan; current GI educational benefits pay only about 60 percent of a public college education and 30 percent of a private college education. The first two years of this new GI Bill would cost what we now spend in just two days in Iraq. Much like the original GI Bill, this new program will help launch millions of families on a course to achieving the American dream, and set the American economy on the right course after a draining war.
“I have been calling on Congress to extend unemployment benefits and am pleased an extension was included in this bill. Labor market conditions are already as bad as or worse than when unemployment insurance benefits were extended in previous recessions, so there is no reason to wait to provide additional benefits to unemployed workers now. Extending unemployment benefits would help families continue spending on basic living expenses and simultaneously provide an extra boost to our weakening economy.
“Our founding fathers crafted the concept of a decennial census to empower the people, and ensure all Americans are fairly represented in their government. Unfortunately, this Administration’s handling of the Census has been nothing short of a disaster, and as a result we now face the prospect of a compromised and less accurate 2010 count. That’s why I am particularly pleased the Supplemental includes critical Census funding. The professionals in the Census Bureau will need every penny of it to try and avert a crisis in 2010. While this funding is a critical first step, we must continue to hold this Administration accountable and restore the American people’s confidence in our ability to fulfill this important Constitutional mandate.”