Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: Half in Ten: House GOP’s Brinkmanship Imperils Economic Recovery and Deals a Tough Blow to Nearly 2 Million Unemployed Workers
Press Statement

STATEMENT: Half in Ten: House GOP’s Brinkmanship Imperils Economic Recovery and Deals a Tough Blow to Nearly 2 Million Unemployed Workers

Press Contacts

  • Katie Peters

Washington, D.C.—The House Republican leadership’s’ refusal to allow a vote on the bipartisan Senate compromise to temporarily continue unemployment insurance and the payroll tax cut is a blow to middle-class families, unemployed workers, and our fragile economic recovery, says Half in Ten, a partnership of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Coalition on Human Needs, and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights to cut U.S. poverty in half in 10 years.

“It in unconscionable that Republicans in the House are standing in the way of a bipartisan agreement to continue unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut,” said Melissa Boteach, Half in Ten campaign manager. “While the Tea Party may have won its way, the losers are families struggling to remain in the middle-class, unemployed workers, and the American economy.”

As a result of the GOP’s brinkmanship:

  • Nearly 2 MILLION jobless Americans will lose their unemployment benefits in January alone.
  • 160 MILLION working Americans will see their taxes go up on January 1.
  • The economy could slip back into recession, costing hundreds of thousands more jobs.

“It is unacceptable for the House to leave for recess without passing the bipartisan Senate compromise to continue unemployment insurance and the payroll tax cut,” said Deborah Weinstein, executive director of the Coalition on Human Needs. “While Tea Party Republicans play games of political brinkmanship, 1.8 million unemployed workers will lose a critical lifeline this holiday season. For many, this could mean evictions, utility shut-offs, and struggles to keep food on the table for their families.”

“House Republicans have done everything they can this year to protect millionaires and billionaires,” said Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President for External Affairs at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “Now it appears they will stop at nothing to block a tax cut for the middle-class and a lifeline to the unemployed.”

“House Republicans are Scrooge-ing the unemployed and the middle-class this holiday season while continuing to go to the mat to protect the wealthiest Americans,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “We need an economy that works for everyone, not just the 1 percent.”