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or more with the rate expected to continue for at least 2 more months.
By applying to specific communities rather than to the entire Nation, the Randolph-McFall bill will induce quick, responsive aid for these “substantial" areas. The proposal is not planned as a means to generate long-term employment. Programs, more comprehensive in nature, would best serve that purpose. However, the approximate 5.5 million unemployed in the Nation's labor market cannot wait for the promised results of the long-range solutions. Therefore, the RandolphMcFall "crash program" offers quick relief and offers hard-hit communities immediate assistance to cope with their growing unemployment problem. The grants-in-aid would apply only to those communities that (a) have a firm plan for badly needed permanent public facility, (6) are able to finance the local share of construction, (c) are ready to begin almost immediate construction, and (d) can guarantee that a high percentage of the construction cost will be labor. Thus the emphasis of the bill is to bring about immediate results, yet coexisting is a latent long-term goal to make "local areas more attractive to industry by building such facilities as sewer plants and municipal buildings without overburdening the local tax rate."
Finally, a time of crisis is not a time to take risks. Therefore, during this unemployment crisis, we must not rely on new programs or new economic concepts; but instead we must rely on a test-proven method of offering immediate help and relief. The Randolph-McFall legislation offers such security and experience as similar legislation was proved highly successful in 1962.
The specific, responsive, and tested nature of the Randolph-McFall bill should provide an effective tool for the administration to use in assisting extremely high unemployed areas, and thus pave the way to an even greater decrease in the national unemployment rate.
The CHAIRMAN. At this point we will hear from our distinguished colleague, the Honorable Hale Boggs, from the State of Louisiana.
STATEMENT OF HON. HALE BOGGS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF LOUISIANA
Mr. Boggs. Mr. Chairman, it was my pleasure to join with my good friend and colleague, John McFall, in cosponsoring the Randolph-McFall accelerated public works bill, and I want to commend the Speaker and the chairman of this committee for assigning high priority to the consideration of this proposal.
This is a program that is greatly needed, and needed now. The Nation is haunted by the specters of unemployment and the fear of unemployment. Nearly 512 million Americans who want to work are unable to find work. Many others have given up the job hunt in despair. Their names are not recorded on the unemployment rolls and their numbers are not reflected in the official statistics issued monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But we know of their existence, and we know of their hopelessness.
It is the obligation of this Congress to restore hope to these people, and to restore their faith in the processes of government.
They are the innocent victims of the administration's misguided economic policies. They are paying the price of the Nixon administration's
efforts to control inflation, which have produced a stagnating economy characterized by an alarming decline in national productivity and an equally alarming increase in the jobless rate.
We Democrats have always placed human values above dollar values. We have always looked upon full employment as the basic element of a healthy economy.
When this administration took office, it inherited from the Democratic administration that preceded it an unemployment rate of 3.3 percent. In less than 2 years, we saw that rate spiral to 6 percent as a result of Republican policies. In some areas, the rate is nearly double the national average.
Month after month, we hear the optimistic forecasts of the administration's spokesmen who promise an economic upturn just around the next corner. Month after month, the statistics on unemployment and productivity belie those optimistic forecasts. The picture continues to be one of a sick economy.
We must relieve the symptoms of this sick economy in the most direct and expeditious manner possible. The Congress cannot wait, and the victims of unemployment cannot wait, for the rosy predictions of administration economists to come true.
We cannot offer instant relief to all these victims, but we can act promptly to create new jobs in areas that have suffered the most from persistent and long-term unemployment.
I urge prompt and favorable action on the Randolph-McFall accelerated public works bill because I am convinced that it offers the most direct and immediate remedy to those who are in greatest need.
In every area of acute unemployment, there are public works proj. ects that have been delayed for lack of local revenues-projects that need to be expedited in the interests of the communities and for the protection of the environment. The Randolph-McFall bill would enable the launching of these projects with Federal subsidies. It would take workers off the unemployment rolls and the welfare rolls and put them on payrolls. It would stimulate economic recovery in poverty pockets and help to reverse the trend of increasing and persistent unemployment.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Boggs. We will continue now to hear the statements from other Members of the House.
STATEMENT OF HON. MELVIN PRICE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ILLINOIS
Mr. PRICE. Mr. Chairman, the need for an accelerated public works program is urgent. This legislation, which would provide 80 percent Federal grants-in-aid, will assist economic development areas, major labor market areas and “pockets of poverty” that have a history of persistent unemployment. Its purpose is to make local areas more attractive to industry by building such facilities as sewer plants and municipal buildings without overburdening the local tax rate. Considered in conjunction with my proposal to provide 90 percent Federal financing for sewer treatment facilities, and the public service employment bill, this legislation could prove highly successful in decreasing unemployment.
This accelerated public works program is critical to my area. The Illinois counties of Madison and St. Clair comprise my district. During 1970, the 24th District has been characterized by rapidly expanding unemployment. This has been due to many factors including labor management disputes, nonrenewal Government contracts, plant closings, an overall reduction in production schedules, and the federally imposed freeze on moneys for highways and other projects. To illustrate, the recently announced closing of the American Zinc Co. at Sauget will put 500 persons out of work and the decrease in activity at Monsanto has resulted in underemployment.
The unemployment rate in December, 1969, for the combined counties of St. Clair and Madison was 4.8 percent. In 1970, this figure increased to an even 7.0 percent. Numerically, this means 12,550 of a total urban rork force of 180,150 were unemployed.
Considered separately, St. Clair County's unemployment rate was 8.3 percent or 6,925 unemployed of its 83,100 total work force. Based on the above figures, the unemployment rate for Madison County was, therefore, approximately 5.8 percent unemployed of a total work force of 97,050.
The seasonal increase in unemployment for the combined counties for January 1971, was up to 8.9 percent, or 15,725 of a total work force of 177,025. In east St. Louis alone, unemployment is considerably higher.
Nonagricultural wage and salary employment rose 14.6 percent during an 8 year period ending with the year 1970. This figure must, however, be considered in light of the fact that manufacturing employment slipped downward by 5 percent and was countered by an upward movement of 27 percent in manufacturing.
This trend of unemployment is expected to continue through 1971 and into 1972. Such categories of employment opportunities as Federal Government establishments and retail trade, which have not yet experienced the downward trend, are expected to fall short of previous levels.
Claims for unemployment compensation benefits have risen nationwide from $2.25 billion in 1969, $3.3 billion in 1970, to an estimated $5.89 billion in 1971. Obviously, it is mandatory that corrective economic policies be initiated immediately.
With a projected need of $25 million for clean water projects in the 24th District, this accelerated public works legislation can help meet +wo needs: the creation of jobs and the construction of badly needed public facilities.
This legislation worked in the early 1960's; I see no reason why we can't apply it again. I strongly recommend its approval. STATEMENT OF HON. EDWARD A. GARMATZ, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MARYLAND Mr. GARMATZ. Mr. Chairman, it is a privilege for me to appear before this committee today to record my enthusiastic support for the Randolph-McFall bill, and I want to commend the chairman of this great committee for his judgment in placing high priority on this proposal.
This is indeed an important bill in the sense that its passage will bring benefit to thousands of Americans who are in greatest need, having been the unfortunate victims of long-term and persistent unemployment. I was pleased to join my good friend and colleague, John McFall, in cosponsoring this measure in the House. I note that hearings have been held in the Senate subcommittee, and it is my hope that Chairman Blatnik's goal of House action on the bill before Easter recess is realized.
The Randolph-McFall bill has many virtues, not the least of which is its simplicity. It relies on no complex formulas, creates no new agencies, presents no major problems of administration. It provides, simply, for the Federal Government to pay up to 80 percent of the cost of needed public works in areas where the average unemployment rate is 150 percent of the national average. These are figures that can be readily determined from available statistics.
This bill has the virtue of providing direct relief where it is needed the most-of striking at the hard core of unemployment and aiding those areas that have suffered the most from economic recession.
It has the virtue of proven effectiveness. Experience with the Public Works Acceleration Act of 1962 indicated that it was a highly successful program for alleviating unemployment and encouraging public works projects and community development.
It has the virtue of timeliness, offering immediate relief to those areas that could be considered economically distressed. In those areas where unemployment is the greatest, needs for public works programs are also great. Projects such as public buildings, water and sewer facilities, have been delayed for lack of local financing. The money provided under this bill would enable these communities to make an immediate start on projects that have long been in the planning stage, but deferred through economic necessity.
The quick, short-term effects of this measure would be the creation of new jobs. I can think of nothing more vital to the well-being of our citizens than the offer of meaningful employment after the humiliation and despair of long-term joblessness. My own district is more fortunate than some, and has not endured the alarming rates of 8 percent, 10 percent, or 11 percent that have confronted some cities, but it has not been unscarred by the current recession that has left 512 million Americans out of work and out of hope, and thousands of others who, in their hopelessness, have dropped out of the labor market and quit trying. The prospects of new jobs can produce immediate results in terms of restoring confidence and giving a psychological lift to an entire community. But in the long run, the side effects of such a program can be even more significant. By revitalizing the community and its economy, we can encourage industrial expansion and business enterprises, thereby increasing the flow of tax revenues into the local coffers, and establishing a firmer economic base for the future.
Mr. Chairman, this is the kind of revenue sharing the people of this country want—the sharing of revenues to do a specific job, in a specific place, to meet a specific need, and concentrated where the need is greatest.
I look forward to early passage of this vital piece of legislation.
STATEMENT OF HON. CHARLES E. BENNETT, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA
Mr. BENNETT. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity you have given me to testify before your committee. In the committee's hearings on increased public works programs, I wanted to bring your attention to legislation which I have introduced in a similar field but which was not referred to your committee to provide public service job opportunities. I believe that the creation of such public service jobs is the No. 1 priority with which the Congress must be concerned. My bill authorizes the Secretary of Labor to create a register of individuals who have not been successful in finding employment. It provides that municipal and State governments and agencies and departments of the Federal Government may petition the Secretary of Labor for manpower from this pool as their needs require. My bill further provides that the hiring authority may supplement the minimum wage which would be paid by the Federal Government under this act and that individuals employed under this act shall be considered temporary and not eligible for retirement benefits.
I was extremely distressed when the President vetoed the manpower bill last year. I supported this measure and I think it would have done a great deal of good in improving our economy in a very short period of time. At the present time, we are experiencing 6 percent unemployment-the highest in a decade. At the same time, the Federal Government, States, and cities are not performing many vital services because of lack of funding to hire permanent personnel to do these jobs. In a study by the National Commission on Technology, Automation, and Economic Progress, it was reported to the President and the Congress that the following public service jobs were available for individuals with limited skills and could be done with a minor amount of training:
1.2 1.1 1.3 .7 .35 .65
Medical institutions and health services.-.
I was pleased to note the statement made by Mayor Bailey of Mobile, Ala., recently. He made several points in regard to the need for public service jobs in areas of high chronic or technical unemployment. Mobile, Ala., received a severe setback due to the reduction in aerospace facilities. The city found that 6,100 jobs in skilled and technical fields had been eliminated in that one city alone. It is obvious that the city could not counter this economic disaster because at the same time that they experienced this very high rate of unemployment the city's income base was vastly reduced because of the depressed economy of the area. Public service jobs would pick up the slack in areas such as Mobile and other hard-hit areas affected by the cutback in aerospace development. Mobile is just one example of a city in dire financial straits. We have heard not only from the Governors but from the mayors of the crisis which exists. I noted also that Governor Shapp of Pennsylvania indicated that the State is virtually on the brink of bankruptcy and that unless he received funding in the very near future