POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Johnson, Chambliss vote on unemployment extension

Camie Young

Camie Young

Gwinnett's Washington representatives on both sides of the political spectrum voted to extend unemployment benefits last week.

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, a Democrat called on senators to pass the measure after 2.5 million Americans lost unemployment benefits.

"I speak with constituents all the time who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own," he said. "These benefits are crucial to help unemployed workers pay their mortgages and put food on the table."

"Helping unemployed workers is not just the right thing to do for people, but it helps spur the economy. Republicans are eager to give the wealthiest Americans a tax break to the tune of $700 billion and not pay for the cuts, but they are unwilling to afford the same benefit for working Americans."

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss also voted to support a measure that would have paid for an extension of unemployment benefits. The measure failed by a vote of 42 to 56.

"This was not an argument over whether Congress should pass an extension of unemployment benefits, but over whether those benefits should have been paid for first," he said. "This is a classic example of what is wrong in Washington -- instead of passing a funded version of this legislation, the majority party chose to play politics with the issue. If Congress cannot find the money to pay for something so universally agreed-upon in these difficult economic times, when will America start to get its fiscal house in order?"

Chambliss also supported another failed measure this week. He voted in favor of a bill to repeal the estate tax, which has become known as the "death tax," although the bill failed by a vote of 39 to 59, a press release said.

"This tax is unnecessary and burdensome to American families, especially those who run small businesses and farms," Chambliss said. "It is unfair to working Americans who have accumulated a lifetime of assets in hopes of passing them down to their children and grandchildren."

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.