Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 27th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Congressman Sam Farr

SamFarrNewWith 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.

In the House, Democrats are all too aware of the suffering that American families are going through, and how important benefits are to those families who have lost their jobs. Let me be clear: extending unemployment benefits is not a long-term solution to our economic woes. Putting America back to work is how we measure success.

But with so many Americans out of work, it should have been a no-brainer to provide those suffering families with the help they need. Unfortunately, not everyone agreed.

Not only do unemployment benefits help millions of families get back on their feet and find work, they’re a powerful economic stimulus. Economist Mark Zandi, former adviser to Sen. John McCain, reports that for every $1 in unemployment benefits, the economy sees more than $1.60 in economic activity.
By passing this bill, we were investing not only in families, but in our national economy as well.

As I write this, I’m preparing to return to Washington for an emergency session of the House. The Senate, in a bit of a surprise, approved a bill that would provide $16.1 billion to help meet Medicaid payments and $10 billion to prevent teacher layoffs. Those funds, which are fully paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes, are expected to save 140,000 teaching jobs (13,500 in California) and save or create another 150,000 jobs for police officers, firefighters and nurses.

In the face of obstruction, congressional Democrats continue to fight for Americans, and I’m proud of the work we’re doing. In the past, GT has spoken with you about the  need for more child and school nutrition legislation. Any new updates?

On July 15, the House Committee on Education and Labor voted 32 to 13 to send the Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act to the House for consideration.
As I’ve said before, reauthorizing the Child Nutrition Act needs to be a top priority for Congress. This bill will improve the nutritional quality of meals in schools and childcare and expand access to healthy food to millions of children.

Today, more than one in five children lack access to healthy food, and one in three children are overweight or obese. More than 32 million children rely on federal child nutrition programs, so it’s no exaggeration to say we hold the future of an entire generation in our hands.

Language I wrote to promote the use of salad bars in schools will be included in the bill debated on the House floor, and I’m confident of the bill’s final approval. This is an issue we delay acting on at our own peril.

What are your plans for the summer recess?
I expect another exciting summer, though maybe not quite as boisterous as last year. With health insurance reform now the law of the land, I think I’ll be hearing a lot more about the economy, and rightfully so. While Congress and President Obama have done a lot to keep the economy from getting worse, we’re still not seeing the level of improvement we were hoping for.

The unemployment rate is improving, but too slowly for my taste. And while the country is creating tens of thousands of jobs each month (compared to the loss of more than 750,000 jobs a month under President George W. Bush), we still have a lot of room to improve.

As I have for the last 17 years, I’ll once again be hosting town halls throughout the Central Coast this summer. I value these listening sessions and hope as many people as possible will join me.

This year I’ll be hosting my Santa Cruz town hall at 6 p.m., Sept. 2. It will be held at the First Congregational Church at 900 High St. Again, I encourage you to join me and offer your thoughts.
Comments (1)Add Comment
Thank You
written by Joe Hall, August 10, 2010
I think we have been fortunate for these 17 years to have had a Congressman who works so hard for our district, flies back to the Central Coast many weekends and takes time to have had town hall meetings for many years before they were the fashion. Thank you Sam Farr for your service.

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Santa Cruz Gives

A look at the organizations we’re asking you to support in our new holiday giving campaign


Gratitude—For Each New Morning With its Light

The full moon of Wednesday brings light to Thanksgiving (Thursday) under the Sagittarius Sun and Mercury. Mercury in Sag offers humanity the message (Mercury) of thankfulness and joy (Jupiter). No other sign represents food, music and joy better than Sagittarius (only Pisces, when not in despair). Beginning on Thanksgiving, we can list what we’re grateful for. Then we can continue the list, creating a daily Gratitude Journal. What we are grateful for always increases in our lives. On Thanksgiving Saturn/Neptune square (challenging) is in full effect. This can manifest as traditions not being honored, disappearing, falling away. It can also create a sense of sadness, confusion, of things not working out as planned. It’s best to be as simple as possible. And to focus on gratitude instead. Gratitude is a service to others. It is scientifically and occultly a releasing agent. Releasing us from the past, allowing our future—the new culture and civilization, the new Aquarian laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarius, the Age of Friendship and Equality—to come forth. Gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution for humanity and the world’s problems.” The hierarchy lays great emphasis upon expressing gratitude. Gratitude illuminates all that is in darkness. Let us be grateful during this season together. Being, for others, the light that illuminates the darkness. A Poem by R.W. Emerson: We are grateful … “For each new morning with its light/For rest and shelter of the night/For health and food/For love and friends/For everything thy goodness sends.” (poem by R.W. Emerson). I am grateful for my family of readers.


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Pluck of the Irish

Mid-century immigrant tale engagingly told in ‘Brooklyn’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Second Street Café

Pies and tarts for all tastes—from traditional to adventurous


How are you preparing for El Niño?

Getting ready to buy some rain gear. Cory Pickering, Santa Cruz, Teaching Assistant


Fortino Winery

Cabernet and superb fruit wine from Fortino Winery


Tap Dance

West End Tap & Kitchen’s impressive menu to expand to Eastside location