Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), I am sure you will hear his name many times in the future. He is a very colorful representative from the Great State of Florida.
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) said on the House floor Monday that Republicans are blocking a reauthorization of unemployment benefits in order to resurrect the America of the 1930s.
"There was no unemployment insurance back then," Grayson said, in one of the more colorful speeches on the issue. "There was no State benefits back then. There was no help for the people who had no jobs. All they could do, like my grandfather, in desperate straits, supporting a family of seven, was to go to the dump and desperately try to find something he could sell.
"That, my friends, is the America that the Republicans are trying to revive. The America of desperate straits, and for them cheap labor. The America where people have nothing, hope for nothing, and are desperate to live to the next day. That is what the Republicans are trying to resurrect by blocking unemployment insurance day after day, week after week, and now month after month."
See what I said, very colorful. But does he have a point? According to the Huffington Post more than 2.5 million people who've been out of work for longer than six months have stopped receiving federally-funded extended benefits since the end of May, when Congress failed to reauthorize the benefits. Republicans in the Senate, joined by Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson, have filibustered the bill because they don't want its $33 billion cost added to the deficit (even though that is the usual way with federal extended benefits).
Those are very strong words. While it seems unlikely that the Republicans actually want to punish the poor, it does seem that they are indifferent to their plight. But Alan had some different words.
"And I will say this to the Republicans who have blocked this bill now for months and kept food out of the mouths of children," Grayson concluded. "I will say to them now, may God have mercy on your souls."