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Congress moves closer to implementing E-Verify for government new hires

Congress voted today for an amendment that would restrict any federal agency funded by the 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations bill to hire an employee without using the federal government’s E-Verify program.

House legislation, H.R. 2354, adopted the E-Verify amendment in the full Appropriations Committee. However activists promise it will find more scrutiny as it works its way through the full legislative process.

“With 9.2 percent of Americans out of work, I am pleased to see the E-Verify language approved by my colleagues in the House,” Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-MISS) said about his amendment. “Over 22 million Americans search for work on a daily basis, while research estimates that over 7 million U.S. jobs are held by illegal aliens. This is a common-sense amendment that simply uses the appropriations process to enforce the E-Verify system that is currently in place.”
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Currently the E-Verify Program is a voluntary program that enables employers to verify the name, Social Security Number and alien identification number (for non-citizens) for employment. E-Verify boasts of a 96 percent accuracy rate, but dissenters argue it’s the remaining 4 percent that warrants employers not to participate with the government program.

“Illegal employment is a contributing factor to our nation’s current debt problem. In these harsh economic times, it is important to make sure illegal aliens are not in the workforce. U.S. jobs should go to legal workers,” Nunnelee finished.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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Obama slams GOP over unemployment benefits which would add billions to the deficit

Now that it’s about 100 days until the midterm elections, the silly season kicked into high gear over the weekend. The usual finger pointing, slamming policies, and claiming the GOP doesn’t like the little guy tactics were employed by Democrats.

The current bull’s-eye target is unemployment benefits. Some unemployed America’s are entering the final 99 weeks they are able to collect insurance money from Uncle Sam, with a continued wobbly economy the President is seeking an extension of those payments.

Kicking it up a notch, Obama took a direct partisan shot at Republicans for failing to pass an extension in unemployment benefits. This politics as usual tactic fell flat as the House and the Senate enjoys large majorities and do not need Republicans to pass along an extension of benefits.

“Over the past few weeks, a majority of Senators have tried – not once, not twice, but three times – to extend emergency relief on a temporary basis. And each time, a partisan minority in the Senate has used parliamentary maneuvers to block a vote, denying millions of people who are out of work much-needed relief. Republican leaders in the Senate are advancing a misguided notion that emergency relief somehow discourages people from looking for a job,” the President implored.

Nevertheless this hasn’t stopped the main-stream media from placing the blame squarely on the GOP.
The President also highlighted in a recent speech that many Republicans have previously supported unemployment extensions under Republican administrations but refuse to offer relief to middle class families today.

Contrary to the President’s spin, Republicans support an extension of unemployment benefits, they just question whether the estimated $34 billion cost will be paid for with an stimulus money – as the GOP have proposed – or whether the $34 billion will be added to the nation’s $13 trillion debt – as the Democrats have offered.

Minority Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has introduced legislation on four different occasions in the last month that would extend unemployment benefits and pay for them with unused stimulus funds. But on every occasion, that effort was blocked by Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

“The biggest reason the cloture vote we just had failed is because Democrats simply refused to pass a bill that does not add to the debt,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

In November, President Obama made this statement about unemployment benefits; “If it’s fully paid for, and so it is fiscally responsible. Now, it’s important to note that the bill I sign will not add to our deficit.”

California Senator Barbara Boxer, a Democrat, is locked in a bitter race from GOP newcomer Carly Fiorina and votes for deficit spending are just the ammunition the GOP candidate is using against Boxer. Even liberal California sees the writing on the wall – the country is broke.

“While Barbara Boxer toes the party line and rubberstamps Harry Reid’s reckless tax-and-spend agenda in Washington, she has failed to make the tough economic decisions that Californians who are struggling to make ends meet deserve. Instead of living within their means like California families and small businesses are forced to do each year, Boxer and her party leaders in Washington believe that taxpayers should pick up the tab for the government’s maxed out credit card,” said Amber Marchand, NRSC Press Secretary.

“This November, there’s no doubt that voters will hold Senator Boxer accountable for her out-of-control spending agenda when they elect Carly Fiorina to the U.S. Senate,” Marchand finished.

Even Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) said unemployment benefits must be offset in a Senate floor speech. “This adds up to a 20-week extension of unemployed benefits for those in the toughest job markets…this should not increase the deficit or national debt.”

However, President Obama believes the country must continue to do everything to spur growth and hiring. “I hope the Senate acts this week on a package of tax cuts and expanded lending for small businesses, where most of America’s jobs are created,” he said from the White House Rose Garden.

“But even as we work to jumpstart job-growth in the private sector, get businesses hiring, and dig ourselves out of this economic hole, we also have another responsibility – to offer emergency relief to Americans who’ve been laid off in this recession; to help them make ends meet – and support their families – while they’re looking for another job,” Obama explained.

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More than $7.1 billion in overpayments to jobless recipients

Amid a massive federal government buildup, waste and fraud inside the U.S. Department of Labor leads to $7.1 billion in overpayments to Americans across the country.

However this is little comfort to those who are losing their government-funded paychecks and leaves Americans scratching their heads as to why the Department of Labor is not properly managing their money.

The latest vote from Capitol Hill has left Democrats frustrated that the GOP as well as fellow party members blocked additional money to be borrowed from the federal-reserve bank (printing money) therefore adding to the deficit and will let thousands of Americans who are unemployed feel the pain of the dithering economy.

The $7.1 billion in waste can be attributed to applicants who received benefits they are not entitled to, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Congress said they will not extend the current jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed; these jobless workers will have to make do with their 99 weeks of government paychecks.

The U.S. Department of Labor said in fiscal year 2009, states shelled out $7.1 billion in overpayments through unemployment insurance, nearly doubling the fraud from $4.2 billion the previous year.

American’s received approximately $76.8 billion in unemployment insurance in 2009 and $41.6 in 2008.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s final report is set to be released next month.

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California’s economic woes continue to grow with unemployment

Unemployment in the golden state hit new record highs with 12.6 percent of Californians looking for a job. California’s high unemployment numbers fall behind Michigan, 14.1 percent, Nevada, 13.4 and ties the state for third with Rhode Island; this is not welcome news for Democrats as the upcoming campaign rhetoric picks up.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says his office was encouraged but pointed out in a statement that California needs to focus on training employees and provide employers new/more incentives to hire Californians.

Chief economist for the State Department of Finance, Howard Roth, explained that he thinks the unemployment rate in California appears to be near its peak.

While this is seen as a victory for some political officials, those seeking gainful employment believe the double speak coming from Sacramento rings hollow and until jobless number begin their turnaround all leaders in government need to be mindful of the impending elections.

“While more than 2.3 million Californians are out of work, Barbara Boxer believes taxpayers should foot the bill for the reckless decisions made on Wall Street or in Washington. Voters are suffering from skyrocketing deficits, burdensome unemployment rates, and out-of-control spending thanks to Boxer and the Democrats in Washington, and our country simply cannot afford to keep bailing out the banks for their reckless financial decisions,” said Amber Marchand of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “more than 2.3 million Californians are still unemployed. The struggle for some is about to get tougher. Tens of thousands have been out of work so long, they will see their unemployment checks cut off within the next few weeks.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner talked about the fact that unemployment numbers generally lag behind the market recovery process. When it came to the new restructuring of the Wall Street big wigs, Geithner stressed that a Financial Services Committee hearing suggested a “standing fund would create expectations the government would step in to protect shareholders and creditors from losses,”

For those 100,000 Californians who are about to exhaust their unemployment benefits this week, bailouts for anyone other than the little guy come as no comfort.

California’s primary is set for June and jobs remains at the top of every candidate campaign stump speech, however there is a big difference between rhetoric and actual policy to put the golden state residents back to work.

The economic uneasiness in California has Senator Boxer in an extremely tight race and the thought of losing another senate seat in a similar fashion as Massachusetts has prompted President Obama to headline a fundraiser for Boxer later today.

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Looking to relieve unemployment Congressmen launch a new caucus

In an effort to tackle the growing joblessness plight the U.S. workers face, Congressmen Gary Miller (R-CA) and ranking member, Lamar Smith (R-TX) formed “Reclaim American Jobs Caucus.” In a statement issued today the Congressmen responded to a report commissioned by the Chicago Urban League and Alternative Schools Network.

According to the study, illegal immigration affects lower-skilled citizens and legal immigrants chances to gain employment.

“During the course of the 2007-2009 recession, the employment rate of the nation’s teen[s] feel steeply to 26.2% by October-November 2009, setting new record lows each year. No other age group has experienced employment declines of this magnitude in the current recession,” the report said. “Young adults 20-24 years old in both Illinois and the nation also have been adversely affected by the deterioration in labor market developments in the state and nation in recent years, especially men, Blacks and Hispanics, and non-college graduates.”

Both Congressional members, Smith and Miller, noted that these are often the same Americans who face the most competition for jobs. A slow job market adds competition for jobs and result is more competition from illegal immigrants.

“The fact is that illegal immigrants take jobs from American workers, particularly poor and disadvantaged citizens and legal immigrants. The best outcome for low-skilled citizen and legal immigrant workers is the removal of the illegal immigrant population,” Congressman Smith said.

“The very jobs that illegal immigrants occupy rightfully belong to out of work citizens and legal immigrants. With 15 million Americans out of work, we need to enforce immigration laws and oppose amnesty for 12 million illegal immigrants,” Smith concluded.

The new Congressional caucus will not only focus on solving immigration issues, but stand up for U.S. citizens and legal immigrants rights to secure valid employment.

California has been hit extremely hard with a higher-than- national average unemployment and long lines at the unemployment offices.

“At home in California, almost weekly I hear from my constituents that illegal immigration is exacerbating the unemployment crisis. Today’s report that a record number of young Americans are jobless once again highlights the fact that we must enforce our current immigration laws to ensure illegals do not take away jobs that rightfully belong to American and legal workers,” Congressman Miller explained.

Any push from the Obama Administration to grant amnesty to those in the country illegally will certainly meet with a strong resistance from the millions of unemployed Americans, legal immigrants as well as those who want the current immigration laws enforce.

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California’s unemployment numbers rise despite $787 stimulus

California’s jobless numbers spike to 11.9 percent well above the national average, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau and Statistics. While President Obama promised lower unemployment figures if the massive stimulus package was passed, California continues to shed jobs at an alarming rate.

California Senators, Democrats, Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein voted for the $787 stimulus package in February despite the ire of many Californians. Both Senators also support the cap and trade bill that now resides on a shelf in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.

The cap and trade bill would accelerate joblessness and increase the country’s energy cost dramatically, hardly a ringing endorsement for a state that is about to fall into the Pacific Ocean.

“As Californian’s suffer through record unemployment rates, where is Barbara Boxer’s promise that the so-called ‘stimulus’ bill would ‘put Californians to work’ and would offer ‘help and hope?’” asked Amber Wilkerson of the Republican Senatorial Committee.

“With the health care battle and other critical issues in Washington looming, Californians deserve to know: Will Senator Boxer put taxpayers first and stop voting for bills that drive up the national deficit, or will she toe the party line for Harry Reid and President Obama when it comes to critical issues facing her state?”

Senator Boxer’s office was contacted for comment on the state’s rising unemployment numbers, but she did not respond.

Also in an important side note the Obama Administration released numbers regarding the national deficit figure. Their projected $7 trillion figure will now rise to an unprecedented $9 trillion dollars.

Leading to a question for all Americans, how can we pay back $9 trillion national deficit, $11.8 in debt and throw $1.6 trillion for health care reform into the mix?

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