New York (CNNMoney.com) – Seeking to appease deficit hawks, Senate Democrats scaled back unemployment benefits and Medicare physician reimbursement measures on Wednesday.
The revised jobs bill eliminates a $25 weekly supplement for the jobless that had been part of the last year's stimulus act. Those currently receiving the supplement in their unemployment benefits check will continue to do so until they exhaust their extended benefits, or until the week of Dec. 7, whichever comes first. That cut will reduce the bill's cost by $5.8 billion over the next decade.
The new version of the bill would also freeze a 21% cut to Medicare physician reimbursement rates only through November, instead of through 2011. This will reduce the bill's size by $16.4 billion over 10 years.
The legislation, which has been stuck in the Senate for more than a week, originally came in at about $140 billion and would have added about $78.7 billion to the deficit. The overall impact of the revised bill on the deficit has not yet been determined.