Source: Bipartisan Senators nearing unemployment deal
January 9th, 2014
02:37 PM ET
9 months ago

Source: Bipartisan Senators nearing unemployment deal

Washington (CNN) – Bipartisan negotiators are nearing an agreement on extending emergency unemployment benefits in a way that Democrats hope will satisfy Republican demands to offset the cost, a source close to the negotiations told CNN.

The source said discussions center around extending the emergency benefits through November of this year at a cost of $18 billion.

Currently, high unemployment states qualify for up to 73 weeks of unemployment benefits. Under this proposal, those high unemployment states would lose 16 weeks of eligibility, bringing it down to a maximum of 57 weeks.

Doing that brings the overall cost from roughly $25 billion, down to roughly $18 billion.

Poll: Majority support for extending jobless benefits

$17 billion of the cost would be covered by extending mandatory cuts under sequester for another year.

The remaining $1 billion would come by reducing the number of people double-dipping unemployment benefits while also getting Social Security disability benefits.

The talks involve Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada, and the two Democrats from Rhode Island – Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed.

Still unclear is whether the five other Republicans who voted to move forward with debate on the issue will accept this deal. Two of those Republicans, Sen. Dan Coats, R-Indiana, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, told CNN they have not been briefed on the talks yet.

Another of those GOP Senators, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, told CNN “I think there is movement. I’ve had several conversations with Democrats.”


Filed under: Congress • Senate • unemployment
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. GOP = Greed Over People

    Sounds like a very reasonable compromise to me.

    January 9, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  2. Fair is Fair

    This is a good deal. What bothers me is this:

    "The remaining $1 billion would come by reducing the number of people double-dipping unemployment benefits while also getting Social Security disability benefits."

    WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE and why is such a practice allowed? And instead of REDUCING the numbers, how about ELIMINATING them alltogether?

    January 9, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  3. just asking

    The remaining $1 billion would come by reducing the number of people double-dipping unemployment benefits while also getting Social Security disability benefits.
    --–

    are you serious???!!!! why are people already declared disabled and unable to work collecting money for not having a job? this is total fraud. why has this been allowed to happen and go on to the tune of a billion dollars in less than a year? yup, your government in action. they just don't give a damn about your tax money and this is proof. and democrats demand they take more and more from us to support this criminal behavior.

    January 9, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. Jim Thomas

    I hope this is true and they can agree instead of back and forth bickering . Just get this done for the American people that is unemployed of no fault of there own . Pray for these families .

    January 9, 2014 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    Why don't these idiots pass jobs-Bill, and Tax reform, term-limits? Pathetic.

    January 9, 2014 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Not great, not bad. Continuing mandatory cuts just because the GOP/Teatrolls think that should be the new normal is pretty stupid considering the damage they are doing to the gov't and the economy, but it's a lesser evil than not extending UI. The double-dipping isn't fair, so it's fine to address it. While it would be nice to see the Dems force the issue on Big Oil subsidies and the government's giant tax loophole BJs of the wealthy and corporations, it's simply going to be a non-starter with the plutocrats in the GOP/Teatrolls, so we might as well just get what we can.

    January 9, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. Brady

    While I still don't expect this to pass, it is nice to have a little hope.

    January 9, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. Mike

    Yup, the economy is recovering for sure. Wait, we need to extend unemployment benefits. Can't have it both way.

    January 9, 2014 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Not great, not bad. Continuing mandatory cuts just because the GOP/Teatrolls think that should be the new normal is pretty stupid considering the damage they are doing to the gov't and the economy, but it's a lesser evil than not extending UI. I suppose the point there is that the GOP/Teatrolls just wanted to make sure to protect some of the policies damaging the economic recovery by holding UI hostage...when they say "offset" what they really mean is
    "offset any economic benefit this might have by protecting and furthering other policies that cause damage." The double-dipping isn't fair, so it's fine to address it. While it would be nice to see the Dems force the issue on Big Oil subsidies and the government's giant tax loophole BJs of the wealthy and corporations, it's simply going to be a non-starter with the plutocrats in the GOP/Teatrolls, so we might as well just get what we can.

    January 9, 2014 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. m123

    I'm sure this is doomed in the House
    Hundreds of billions for war, nothing for Americans
    I'm sure we'll spend billions granting amnesty to illegals and allowing them to use our tax funded services and ER rooms.
    But nothing for out of work Americans?
    Pathetic

    January 9, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. Smitty

    Im sure they will find a way to mess it up, it sounds reasonable, just keep Reid and the other idiots (all of them) away and it might have a chance.

    January 9, 2014 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. Ol' Yeller

    "The source said discussions center around extending the emergency benefits through November of this year at a cost of $18 billion."

    Here's a great compromise... the republicants owe the American taxpayers 24 billion for their government shutdown. So, we fund the program and they can just owe us 6 billion. They can pay it off in monthly installaments at the same rate as what they wanted the student loans to go to.
    Nothing like a little taste of your own medicine....

    January 9, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. Donna

    I would tack on an amendment for a one year mandatory prison term (no early release) for all those that are caught collecting unemployment checks while also collecting disability. If we are going to pay for these people anyways, let's pay to put them in prison and for God's sake stop paying them disability and unemployment while they are in prison.

    How many BILLIONS of dollars have the taxpayers been ripped off by this huge fraudulent activity? And it seems to be well known in Washington!

    January 9, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Fair asked:

    "The remaining $1 billion would come by reducing the number of people double-dipping unemployment benefits while also getting Social Security disability benefits."

    WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE and why is such a practice allowed? And instead of REDUCING the numbers, how about ELIMINATING them alltogether?
    ------------------------------
    Why should it not be allowed? Especially for those people collecting Social Security because of they're of age, and have lost a job that supplemented their income.

    January 9, 2014 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. Your Government in Action

    Wow, a billion dollars in fraud huh? Gee, thanks for clamping down on that. One question, what the hell took you so long?! Was a billion dollars of our hard earned tax dollars just not enough to worry about?

    Google "prison inmates collecting unemployment" is you really want to get steamed even further. It is just amazing that in this age of computers these people should be as easy to catch and stop as running a report. But nobody seems to give a damn.

    January 9, 2014 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  16. Gt

    Reform the tax code..make it fair ..jobs will follow..no more waste ..double ck all those who claim disability .. To many ripping of Americans ...

    January 9, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Donna

    I would tack on an amendment for a one year mandatory prison term (no early release) for all those that are caught collecting unemployment checks while also collecting disability.
    -------------------–
    That would be a good idea, too, but it's not what they're talking about. They're talking about Social Security, not disability. It's a new scenario to me, too. What about seniors that are old enough to collect Social Security who are working to supplement their meager income? Should they be eligible for unemployment, or not?

    January 9, 2014 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    -Donna

    I would tack on an amendment for a one year mandatory prison term (no early release) for all those that are caught collecting unemployment checks while also collecting disability. If we are going to pay for these people anyways, let's pay to put them in prison and for God's sake stop paying them disability and unemployment while they are in prison.

    How many BILLIONS of dollars have the taxpayers been ripped off by this huge fraudulent activity? And it seems to be well known in Washington!
    ********************
    How much does it cost to incarcerate someone for a non-violent offense? Is it more or less than the amount already lost to the fraud you are talking about? You really don't have any concept of balance in your accessment of things: you let your outrage and anger demolish whatever argument you may be trying to make. You are talking about spending more money to house, feed and clothe people who you claim are stealing: you are teaching them nothing.

    January 9, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  19. Keith ..... in Oregon

    Nothing that involves Harry Reid is bipartisan. Please correct the headline.

    January 9, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  20. betterdays

    Sounds like a very reasonable compromise to me, too. And I generally vote Republican.

    Opportunity cost: What a concept.

    January 9, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  21. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    Fair asked:

    "The remaining $1 billion would come by reducing the number of people double-dipping unemployment benefits while also getting Social Security disability benefits."

    WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE and why is such a practice allowed? And instead of REDUCING the numbers, how about ELIMINATING them alltogether?
    ----------
    Why should it not be allowed? Especially for those people collecting Social Security because of they're of age, and have lost a job that supplemented their income
    ------
    COME ON, Rudy. READ the article. It clearly states double dipping unemployment with Social Security DISABILITY benefits. Stop arguing for the sake of arguing.

    January 9, 2014 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  22. ProudDem

    Mike

    Yup, the economy is recovering for sure. Wait, we need to extend unemployment benefits. Can't have it both way.
    _____________________________________________________________________
    RecoverING.....see, if the word was RecoverED...that mean's it's done. Sheesh

    January 9, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. Jesse

    It'll never pass the House. How about ending oil subsidies? Massive tax breaks for Hedge Fund Mgrs?

    January 9, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  24. ShawnDH

    Now what is being done to cut the $92,000,000,000 a year in taxpayer-paid handouts to corporations? Republicans are hypocrites. Period.

    January 9, 2014 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  25. Donna

    Rudy NYC
    Fair asked:
    "The remaining $1 billion would come by reducing the number of people double-dipping unemployment benefits while also getting Social Security disability benefits."

    WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE and why is such a practice allowed? And instead of REDUCING the numbers, how about ELIMINATING them alltogether?
    ----------
    Why should it not be allowed? Especially for those people collecting Social Security because of they're of age, and have lost a job that supplemented their income.
    ---

    DISABILITY Rudy!!!! They have been certified UNABLE to hold a job!!!

    January 9, 2014 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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