Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday called House Republicans’ refusal to allow a vote on extending unemployment benefits “unconscionable” and “immoral.”
In a letter thanking Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, and Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, a Democrat, for their support on the issue, Pelosi, D-Calif., urged the House to take action on a bill that passed the Senate last week. “It is unconscionable that the House has not acted to renew emergency unemployment insurance,” she wrote. “Never before has Congress allowed emergency unemployment insurance to expire while long-term unemployment rates have remained so high.”
“House Republicans’ refusal to extend emergency unemployment insurance is callous, shortsighted and immoral,” she wrote.
Chafee and Sandoval, governors of the two states with the highest unemployment rates, sent a letter Wednesday urging Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio to take up the bill.
Some House Republicans have urged Boehner to add jobs-related measures to an extension and send it back to the Senate. But Boehner has said he’s waiting to hear an offer from the White House on jobs proposal before he will consider an extension.
The White House has yet to respond.