FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Ellis Brachman
Friday, July 10, 2009
PREPARED STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN DAVID R. OBEY
2010 LABOR-HHS-EDUCATION APPROPRIATIONS BILL
July 10, 2009
“ . . . whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
- Matthew 25:40
The country is experiencing the longest and deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, with more
than seven million jobs lost and fifteen million people out of work. Nearly four million people have been out of
work for six months or more – the highest proportion of long-term joblessness on record. Many families cannot
pay their bills or mortgage payments, and trillions of dollars of wealth has been stripped from Americans’
Moreover, the recession has caused an economic crisis for the States. According to the Center on Budget and
Policy Priorities, almost every state is facing fiscal stress, and over the next two years their budget shortfalls
may exceed $350 billion. To close that gap, States across the country are reducing vital services, including
those that help some of the most vulnerable among us.
It will be a long road to recovery.
The fiscal year 2010 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill, in particular, is the appropriations bill that
makes vital investments to train people for jobs, shore up health and social safety nets to provide relief for
millions of hard-working Americans caught in a struggle for economic survival, and provide the educational
opportunity that is critical to the nation’s longer-term prosperity.
At the outset, I want to acknowledge and thank our new Ranking Member, Mr. Tiahrt, for his work this year at
our hearings and on this bill. He has had a short time to get up to speed