By Jay Heflin - 05/28/10 06:40 PM EDT
Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) on Friday struck back at arguments that ending extensions of unemployment benefits might cause people to look for work, lowering the unemployment rate.
“If you're unemployed what the f--- difference does that make to you,” said Miller. “If you had a job you would take the job.”
Miller, the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, spoke as the House moved forward with an extension of unemployment benefits though November. The Senate still has to take up the legislation.
Miller strongly contested the idea that the unemployed are opting for government assistance over looking for work. He said unemployed people struggling to hold on to their homes have an incentive to find work regardless of their unemployment benefits.
“You've got millions of people out of work and the idea that they all have a clever scheme that they're going to live high off the hog on unemployment — people are losing their houses because of unemployment,” he said. “So you think what? That this is a good thing? Unemployment check, I'm losing my house, this is cool?”
Some lawmakers worried about the budget deficit and the cost of extending unemployment benefits have suggested the policy needs examining.