Gwen Graham Urges Congressman Southerland to Pass Unemployment Insurance Extension

For Immediate Release: April 8th, 2014
Julia Gill Woodward, Campaign Manager


TALLAHASSEE, FL  – Following the Senate’s bipartisan passage of emergency unemployment insurance, today Gwen Graham issued the following statement urging Congressman Southerland to take up this critical measure in the House:


“This is exactly the kind of thing North Floridians can’t stand about Washington’s out of touch priorities. The same Congressman Steve Southerland who has called his own $174,000 annual taxpayer-funded salary ‘not so much,’ and freely spends our hard-earned tax dollars on big special interests who crashed our economy, refuses to stand with struggling North Floridians doing everything they can to find work and recover from one of the worst recessions in modern history. Before giving more handouts to the ultra-wealthy or corporations that ship jobs overseas, Republicans and Democrats in Congress should come together and pass this commonsense measure that will directly support Florida’s middle class families and help get our economy back on the path to recovery.”


National Journal: “Unemployment Extension Looks Murky as Congress Heads Toward Break. ” “A five-month extension is expected to pass in the Senate on Monday with some bipartisan support. But House Republicans were indicating Friday that they won’t follow suit, at least not on the Senate bill as written.” [National Journal, 4/06/14]


Southerland Called His $174,000 Congressional Salary Was “Not So Much.” “During a town hall meeting in Florida on Wednesday, when asked about his pay, the congressman told his constituents that his yearly salary of $174,000 was “not so much”…” [Huffington Post, 8/26/11]


Southerland Paid His Staff Thousands in Bonuses. In 2013, Southerland “complained that the profligate spending in Washington was at the heart of the country’s financial woes… What he didn’t mention was that just weeks before, he had doled out $26,000 in taxpayer money for bonuses to 16 of his staffers, records show.” [FCIR, 4/01/13]