Boehner Rejects Senate Deal To Revive Jobless Benefits

AP

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Wednesday came out against a bipartisan Senate deal to revive emergency benefits for the long-term unemployed, a sign that the Republican-led House intends to nix the proposal.

The Speaker circulated a letter by the National Association of Workforce Agencies, which administer unemployment benefit programs on the state level, warning of difficulties in administering the Senate proposal (without taking a position on it).

He said the letter reveals “serious problems with the Senate legislation,” which was struck last week and extends long-term unemployment benefits by five months.

“We have always said that we’re willing to look at extending emergency unemployment benefits again, if Washington Democrats can come up with a plan that is fiscally-responsible, and gets to the root of the problem by helping to create more private-sector jobs,” Boehner said. “There is no evidence that the bill being rammed through the Senate by Leader Reid meets that test, and according to these state directors, the bill is also simply unworkable.”

Boehner didn’t offer a counter-proposal on jobless benefits. “Frankly,” he said, “a better use of the Senate’s time would be taking up and passing the dozens of House-passed jobs bills still awaiting action.”

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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