Congress’s Work Is Not Done

The public will likely approve of Congress’s recent passage of financial reform, but they also want Congress to take action on unemployment, observes Ruy Teixeira.

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Congress finally passed the financial regulation bill last Thursday. That’s a major achievement, and the public is sure to approve. In the latest CBS poll, 57 percent thought it was time to increase regulations on banks and financial institutions, compared to just 35 percent who disagreed.

But it’s no time for Congress to rest on its laurels. The problem to attack now is the economy and the stubbornly high unemployment that is causing so much suffering. One great way to start is by extending unemployment benefits for those out of work, which is something conservatives just can’t bring themselves to support. But the public feels differently. By 52-39 in the same poll, they say Congress should extend these benefits even if that means increasing the budget deficit.

Time for policymakers to get back to work.

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website.

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Ruy Teixeira

Former Senior Fellow

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