Washington, DC—Democratic Senators Charles Schumer and Robert Menendez joined Terence O’Sullivan, President of the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA), and Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), at a press conference this morning to discuss the urgent need for an economic recovery package. With our nation’s unemployment at the highest rate in 16 years, Democrats are focused on passing an economic recovery package to create jobs, aid our struggling states and localities, and get our economy back on track.
“There is no longer a debate in Washington about whether or not we need a recovery package,” said Schumer. “There is broad agreement on both sides of the aisle that a package is necessary. That has made negotiations very productive, as everyone wants the same thing. We all want to put together a package that will stimulate the economy, provide relief for the states, and create jobs to help middle class families who are struggling to get by.”
Said Menendez: “Americans are being hit hard in this economy, so we need to pass an economic recovery package as soon as possible. Critical infrastructure projects, construction projects, energy projects that create green jobs – like repairs to New Jersey’s Pulaski Skyway, an ARC rail tunnel across the Hudson, and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants — are the kinds of investments that make sense in the long-term and put money back in the pockets of the middle class right away. What we have now is a tremendous opportunity to lay the foundations for the success of many generations to come.”
"This is a no brainer: we can build America, investing in the fundamentals of our country and quickly create good jobs that will help get our economy working again,” O’Sullivan said. “There is work to do in America and Americans desperately need work. All that’s missing are the jobs.”
Said Weingarten: “We know that when the economy catches a cold, our schools get pneumonia. Even with Congress’ help, there will still be pain. But an immediate infusion of money will help prevent the kind of draconian cuts at the state level that will take years and years to recover from. We need to invest quickly, but we need to invest wisely.”