Thursday, April 9, 2009

Republican family values

General Assembly Republicans, with cheerleading from Bob McDonnell, rejected changes in Virginia law that would have expanded unemployment benefits to be paid for by $125 million in federal stimulus funds. Their argument that the costs would be passed on to small business rings hollow - when the federal funds ended, the Commonwealth could have reverted to the current law.
The proposal passed the Senate along party lines, but was rejected in the House of Delegates with 53 Republicans lining up against it. Governor Kaine called the House vote a "huge mistake" and, his voice shaking with anger said,
"There are an awful lot of people who are hurting in Virginia... and the message to them seems to be, just, 'We don't care; we don't care. Fend for yourselves.' "
The governor hinted the fight isn't over, noting the mistake could be corrected. Just how isn't clear as the governor didn't specify any steps that his office may take.
So, we are passing up money that would help stimulate local economies across Virginia. Will this $125 million now go to unemployed in other states, thereby pumping up their economies? More importantly, many Virginia families will have a little less for food, a little less for kids' clothes, a little less for school supplies.
So much for Republican family values.


Clifford Garstang said...

I assume that Messrs. Saxman, Landes, and Cline voted against, along with the rest of the Republican lemmings. This seems like a clear opportunity for Democratic candidates to convince voters that the Republicans are working for themselves, not for the citizens of the Commonwealth.

unionman said...

I was reviewing a number of blogs earlier today, "Not Larry Sabato" being one and was reading the comments. Some are spouting lots of numbers about how this would be another tax increase for businesses, and the GA would have to come up with additional money to fund the unemployment insurance after two years, when the Fed money is no longer available. I found it quite confusing at times. Can someone clarify this subject for me. I know people are hurting, I know some of them.

Belle Rose said...
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Belle Rose said...

Cliff, you are right. All the local Repubs voted against the expanded unemployment benefits. Only two Repubs in the state, both from extremely high unemployment areas, voted yes.

Waynesboro unemployment was 10.3% in February. Staunton was 7.8% and Augusta Co. 7.4%. If the area is following state and national trends, those numbers will be up next month. One would think Landes, Saxman, Cline, and Hanger would have a bit more compassion. Talk about turning a cold shoulder on people who are hurting.