Club For Growth Pushes To Block Unemployment Benefits Extension

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ahead of a key test vote Monday, the Club For Growth issued an alert to congressional offices calling on lawmakers to vote to block an extension of emergency unemployment compensation, which expired for some 1.3 million Americans on Dec. 28.

The action alert by the deep-pocketed conservative activist group, which said it will score members based on their votes, spells further trouble for the Democratic-led effort, which many Republicans are already resistant to and hoping to filibuster.

“Congress should end the federal unemployment insurance program and return the authority back to the states, which already have programs in place,” said Andy Roth, the Club’s top congressional lobbyist. “Absent this, Congress should pay for this extension by cutting spending elsewhere in the budget. After six years, an extension can no longer be called an “emergency” with any credibility. There is plenty of waste in the federal budget from which to find an offset.”

The legislation scheduled to come up for a procedural vote on Monday, requiring 60 senators to move forward, renews the emergency unemployment benefits program for three months. The bill doesn’t specify an offset, although Democrats have proposed various ways to pay for it, from cutting agriculture subsidies to unwinding tax loopholes for corporations.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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