Senate Republican Holds up Jobless Benefits

Friday, 26 Mar 2010 06:59 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

As Congress raced to leave Washington for its Easter recess, a Republican senator blocked a stopgap bill to extend jobless benefits, saying its $9 billion cost should not be added to the national debt.

As a result, some people who have been out of work for more than six months will at least temporarily lose benefits. Newly jobless people won't be eligible to sign up for generous health insurance subsidies.

At the center of the battle is Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who's insisting that the measure be "paid for" so as not to add to the nation's $12.7 trillion debt.

"What we are doing is stealing future opportunity from our children," Coburn said Thursday.

Republicans offered legislation to finance the monthlong extension of jobless benefits by rescinding unspent money from last year's economic stimulus bill. The effort was killed on a party-line vote.

Democrats repeatedly sought speedy Senate approval of a House-passed measure that would extend jobless benefits through May 5, but Coburn objected. Republicans said Senate negotiations produced a compromise that didn't pass muster in the House.

Jim Manley, a spokesman for Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the Senate would attempt to retroactively bestow the jobless benefits when it returns from its spring recess April 12.

The practical effect of the lapse in benefits would be limited if they are awarded retroactively. But labor advocates say it produces bureacratic nightmares for state labor departments and that trying to restore the lapsed benefits is easier said than done.

Reid had the option of keeping the Senate in session to force a vote to try to break through the GOP blocking tactics but instead will revisit the issue in 2 1/2 weeks.

The clash comes less than a month after Republicans abandoned a similar battle that led to an interruption in unemployment benefits eligibility for some people and a two-day furlough for about 2,000 Transportation Department employees.

A stopgap law enacted early this month extends though April 5 unemployment insurance for people who have been out of a job for more than six months, provides health insurance subsidies for the jobless and protects doctors from a sharp cut in Medicare payments.

But another short-term extension of the jobless benefits is needed while House and Senate Democrats work through negotiations on a long-term measure that would provide them through the end of the year. Those talks have slowed, prompting Democrats to move to extend benefits for an additional month.

Last month, Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., blocked a similar extension of jobless benefits, but Republicans ended up on the losing end of a public relations battle and Bunning backed away.

The House passed the stopgap bill last week by a voice vote.

Democratic leaders say that jobless benefits are an emergency and don't need to conform to the new pay-as-you-go budget law, which requires new benefit programs to be offset with spending cuts or tax increases so they don't increase the deficit.

"We really believe that the unemployment situation is an emergency economic situation. Republicans do not accept that," said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the majority whip. "They want to cut off unemployment benefits or pay for it with stimulus funds that are creating jobs."

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Putin Left Out of Global Rally as $28 Billion Erased From Moscow Stock Exchange

Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 06:04 AM

President Vladimir Putin's meddling in Ukraine cost Russia dearly in financial markets. With the downing of Malaysian Ai . . .

Report: White House Ignored 'Alarm Bells' About Border Crisis

Monday, 21 Jul 2014 23:18 PM

The Obama administration two years ago reportedly ignored the "ringing alarm bells" of a potential crisis of unaccompani . . .

Judge Tosses Ron Johnson's Lawsuit Against Obamacare Subsidies

Monday, 21 Jul 2014 19:43 PM

A federal judge on Monday threw out Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson's lawsuit challenging the federal funds that l . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved