December 11th, 2013
09:13 PM ET
12 months ago

Top Democrat: Budget deal must include jobless benefits

(CNN) - The chairman of the House Democratic caucus isn't sold on the bipartisan budget compromise, demanding an extension of unemployment insurance be included in the deal.

Rep. Xavier Becerra of California said Wednesday - a day after Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray reached a fiscal agreement that would help avoid another government shutdown - that House Democrats "have not caved" and will continue to push to pass the extension.

"It has to include employment insurance," he told Crossfire co-hosts S.E. Cupp and Van Jones. "Help those who are trying to find their jobs who are not employed, looking for their job."

On December 28, unemployment benefits will expire for 1.3 million workers. In order for them to continue, lawmakers must extend the recession-era program by the end of the month.

"If we (Democrats) are going to have to vote for this thing and make it pass - be the people who help pass it - then we should be able to help Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own."

The budget deal agreed to by committee leaders just days before the House recesses for the holidays would set spending levels, reduce the deficit, and relieve some of the arbitrary, forced spending cuts known as sequestration.

Before a deal was reached, some Democrats indicated an extension of unemployment insurance would not be a sticking point in budget negotiations, pointing to other avenues, like the still-pending farm bill, to get them renewed.


Filed under: House Democrats
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. simplyput

    I have a friend who acquired PTSD working disasters for twenty years for FEMA. They offerered to extend his unemployment, without offering disability. He refused the unemployment extension because he is an honorable, honest man who almost sacrificed his sanity watching caskets float by highways in order to take care of people in this country. Extend unemployment bennies ? Double check every one of the takers for fraud first. My friend never guessed FEMA was defrauding him for life.

    December 11, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  2. S. B. Stein

    This is a case of something is better than nothing. I would have hoped that there would be more for the social welfare programs.

    December 11, 2013 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  3. Stephan Patterson

    I have served this country for well over 22 years in the Army. We are exposed to war, toxic chemicals, envirnmental hazards. We usually make a decision to serve very young and those that stay end up with a small retirement and benefits. We are behind our peers on the civilan side and we have more medical problems. This budget deal hurts military retiree's, service members and veterans. Why are Republicans so eager to throw service members under the bus? I am ashamed of th party for this act. They say one thing and do another. It is an opportunity try to do something underhanded and try to blame the other party. The Dems don't care. Time to man up and stand up for military members, Veteran's and Retiree's. Call your Congressman and Senator and stand behind your military personnel

    December 11, 2013 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  4. Steve

    Unemployment is meant to be a temporary fix to carry someone from their old job to a new one.

    While on unemployment…for however long…that person is supposed to be finding a job SIMILAR in pay to the one they had before. It’s giving them a buffer of time to do that.

    What it’s NOT meant to do, is have a former IT Manager who was making $125k…end up taking a job at McDonalds after his unemployment runs out, or doing “odd jobs”

    If a “corporate executive” is unemployed for 6 months-1 year, and still doesn’t have any promising job offers at that point, something is wrong in the ECONOMY itself. There is a mis-match between the actual labor on-hand, and what is being offered by companies who are hiring.

    Unemployment is still much higher than it was when Federal Benefits were created in 2008 (by Bush)...it will most definitely be renewed in 2014...99% sure...even if it's in January.

    December 12, 2013 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  5. truth hurts but reality bites

    It appears that the Democrats do not understand the recession ended in June 2009, six months after Obama took office, 18 months after it had started (as almost all do) and before ANYTHING Obama and the Democrats did with their insane stimulus waste of a trillion dollars. That is FOUR AND A HALF YEARS AGO!! Why do we still need to extend these benefits for these ridiculously long periods? It just encourages people to stay on it longer before getting back to work. I guess can be taken as a Democrat admission that they have absolutely FAILED to get the economy back on track and people back to work. And in an attempt to buy forgiveness, now offer the unemployed masses free extended cake.

    December 12, 2013 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  6. Marie MD

    Thank you. Nobody seems to be paying attention to the bad things, and there are many, on this bill that is all about keeping the little guy down.

    December 12, 2013 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  7. Gurgyl

    Bring back MANUFACTURE, DO INFRASTRUCTURE, produce more Led light bulbs, solar, green energy, Eco-thermal system,strong dollar, etc.not life-long unemployment benefit etc.

    December 12, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  8. current state of the union

    It just won't stop, I feel uncomfortable with the patients run the asylum .

    December 12, 2013 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  9. Dean

    Stop expanding/lengthening unemployment insurance. Limit payouts to 26 weeks...period. This is the only way to put people back in the workforce.

    December 12, 2013 08:12 am at 8:12 am |