With millions of people unemployed, why did it take so long for Congress to approve an extension OF unemployment benefits?
On July 22, President Barack Obama signed into law a bill that extends unemployment insurance for millions of Americans who have lost their jobs.
Congress, of course, is made up of the Senate and the House. Until both chambers agree, we can’t accomplish anything. That’s why it was so maddening that Senate Republicans held up the extension of benefits for seven weeks.
Can you give a brief report on this fiscal year’s county budget?
Though it wasn’t easy in these difficult economic times for county government, the board was successful in minimizing the reduction to community programs—the nonprofits in our community that provide essential safety-net services. While a 20 percent cut was proposed (on top of a significant cut the previous year), the board was able to decrease the cut to 10 percent so that these vital programs, which provide assistance to the needy and vulnerable in our community, will be there for those who need them.
The war in Afghanistan is the longest war in U.S. history, and last month was the deadliest month of the war yet. Are we getting any closer to getting out of there?
I have consistently opposed the war in Afghanistan, and my opposition remains unwavering. I never bought the proposal that occupying Afghanistan would improve our national security, and it’s clearly not in our nation’s interest to remain there.
I continue to be skeptical about what our military can accomplish in Afghanistan. I’m convinced that the sooner we withdraw our troops, the sooner we can refocus on cooperating with our allies to break down terrorist networks around the world. Taking down these networks—not occupying countries—is the best way to enhance our national security. And we can do that for a far lower cost, in both lives and dollars, than by occupying Afghanistan.
The oil leak in the Gulf continues. What are your thoughts on it?
Every night we watch the news reports of the leak, we see the dead and dying animals and the sludge in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It's heartbreaking.
I also find some of the comments coming out of Washington to be unbelievable.