Tags: Healthcare Reform | bill kristol | budget | deal | shutdown

Kristol: Budget Deal Lets GOP Focus on Obamacare

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Thursday, 12 Dec 2013 05:09 PM

The bipartisan budget deal is good for Republicans because it will allow them to focus on the Affordable Care Act and not fight with each other, according to Bill Kristol, founder and editor of The Weekly Standard.

"Politically it's useful. It takes the shutdown off the table for the next year and a half, which is probably good for Republicans," Kristol told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"It allows conservatives to really focus on Obamacare and not have us Republicans and conservatives fighting each other for the next few months, which might otherwise happen. We have some history of that after all."

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Kristol opposes the extension of unemployment benefits, which is now a hot topic on Capitol Hill, and says the GOP should not be concerned about fighting it.

"It's one thing to have 26 weeks, 52 weeks of unemployment insurance for people who got a bad break and got laid off. Ninety-nine weeks, I mean, it really deters people from finding new employment, it slows down labor mobility," he said.

"If you want to spend some of that money to help people get jobs, there are things you could do – job training, pay for people to go travel to jobs.

"But don't just give them unemployment insurance which they only keep getting if they remain unemployed. It's got exactly the wrong incentives. So I don't think that's a policy debate Republicans or conservatives need to be scared of."

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