"The only real answer to unemployment is an expanding, prosperous, free-enterprise system. But the government must take direct, immediate action at a time of devastating high unemployment.

"I would urge full funding of a jobs program such as the Community Renewal Employment Act, which Rep. Gus Hawkins and I introduced in January, authorizing 1 million public jobs in a $10 billion program that could get at least partially under way this year.

"A public jobs bill must provide a variety of employment opportunities. Jobs in such areas as public health and safety, child care and emergency food and shelter offer a double measure of relief. They put to productive work women, disabled individuals, elderly persons and others often excluded from public works and construction projects.

"We must help unemployed homeowners who are unable to meet their mortgage payments. Both the Veterans Administration and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have an obligation, which I would insist they meet.

"They already have authority to take assignments of VA and FHA mortgages about to go to foreclosure. I would encourage the heads of those agencies to exercise that authority more vigorously and urge Congress to provide comparable temporary loan assistance for homeowners who hold conventional mortgages.

"Most workers lose their family health insurance within a month after being laid off. I would ask enactment of a temporary assistance program of emergency and ambulatory care for those uncovered families who cannot afford the full cost of health care.

"Congress should also consider tax incentives for employers and insurance carriers to extend, at least temporarily, hospital coverage for the unemployed. At a minimum, I would propose that children and pregnant women get essential health care."