President Barack Obama also believes Congress should at least enact a short-term extension of the emergency jobless benefits without a pay-for, a senior administration official said. But he's willing to support an offset for a longer-term extension, the official said.
The insurance program lapsed on Dec. 28 for some 1.3 million long-term unemployed Americans. The Senate voted 60-37 on Tuesday to move forward with a clean three-month extension of jobless benefits, although some of the Republicans who voted yes may end up blocking it if an offset isn't added.
Reid's remarks move Democrats further away from House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who has elevated his demands for reviving the benefits to paying for them as well as tacking on unspecified jobs-related reforms. Notably, Reid and Boehner have each put the onus for proposing an offset on each other.