Senators Stall Overextending Unemployment Benefits

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Source: Bytemarks / Flickr

Source: Bytemarks / Flickr

Emergency unemployment benefits legislation stalled in the Senate Tuesday, and is unlikely to be considered again before Congress adjourns for a week-long recess. Although there is agreement by Democrats and Republicans to extend the benefits, there is disagreement over how the program should be funded.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) spoke about the issue on the Senate floor Tuesday. “First, the Senate should actually be paying for whatever it passes — and not with spending cuts 11 years from now that may never happen,” the Minority Leader said. “It’s also reasonable to expect practical pro-growth job-creation measures, so we can actually help get people back to work.”

McConnell’s remarks referenced a Democratic proposal which would pay for the an extension through November with cuts Republicans claim will not be witnessed until 2024. The Republicans offered a three-month extension which would cost about $12 billion. Part of its cost-saving measures was to end the ability of the unemployed to access jobless aid, and federal disability simultaneously. It had similarities with a recent offer by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), but differed over how spending cuts would affect low-income Americans. “That was never going to have a chance on our side,” Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told the Washington Post.

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