Campaign 2010

Mar 16, 2010

Does Nunnelee Stand For Working Families?

Democrats today urged Mississippi Appropriations Chairman and Congressional candidate (MS-01) Alan Nunnelee to side with Mississippi working families and against his national party bosses by standing up for unemployment insurance benefits. Mississippi lawmakers are currently trying to amend state law so Mississippi can accept $56 million in federal recovery funding including much needed support for unemployment insurance. Unemployment in Mississippi is at a nearly 25 year high.

 

“This is a defining moment for what kind of politician Alan Nunnelee wants to be. Will he stand up for middle class families in Mississippi or will he stand behind Washington fat-cats and party bosses? Mississippi families will know soon enough,” said Jesse Ferguson, Southern Regional Press Secretary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  “Alan Nunnelee has to stand up and tell Mississippi families whether he stands behind Governor Barbour’s efforts to block unemployment benefits for families in need.”

 

Governor Barbour is opposed to accepting $56 million dollars in federal support for Mississippi that would protect benefits for the people who need them the most.  [LA Times, 3/11/10]

 

Ferguson continued, “Nunnelee’s been more than happy to use federal recovery act funding before he ran for Congress, but now he’s a candidate and trying to please party bosses in Washington. We’ll see whether he’ll stand up for working families. If he makes the wrong choice, then Mississippi families will have none of Alan Nunnelee.”

 

The Jackson Clarion Ledger Editorial Board wrote: “In a state with double-digit unemployment and the poorest people in the nation, Barbour's decision to reject the $56 million was short-sighted. […] Rejecting federal jobless benefits at a time when jobs are scarce, layoffs and furloughs are plentiful and the state's economy is contracting in the name of avoiding tax hikes four years down the road ignores the plight of the jobless workers who need help now.” [Jackson Clarion Ledger, 3/12/10]

 

Background

 

  • Unemployment near 25-year high. “With unemployment in Mississippi at a nearly 25-year high, Democrats in the House are attempting to force Gov. Haley Barbour to accept federal stimulus dollars to bolster the unemployment fund and expand eligibility. […] January's figures show a statewide jobless rate of 12.1 percent. [Jackson Clarion Ledger, 3/12/10]

 

  • Nunnelee provided budget figures that showed $523 million in federal Recovery Act funds were used to plug holes in the FY 2010 budget. [Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 8/09/09]

 

  • The appropriations for the State Department of Education – General Programs, Education Reform Act and Vocational Education included the use of federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to defray expenses of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program.  Nunnelee supported the bill.  [HB No 49, 2nd Extraordinary Session, 6/29/2009]

 

  • Representative Travis Childers voted in favor of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and called it a way to “uplift Main Street and help get the hard working people of Mississippi back on their feet.” [Childers Statement, 1/28/2009; HR 1, Vote #70, 2/13/09]

 

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