Senators push pared-down long term unemployment bill
June 24th, 2014
01:31 PM ET
5 months ago

Senators push pared-down long term unemployment bill

Washington (CNN) - Two bipartisan senators on Tuesday introduced pared-down legislation to provide benefits for the long-term unemployed that they hope will be more attractive to House Republicans who have shown little interest in a previous more generous bill sponsored by the two.

Unlike their earlier legislation, which passed the Senate in April, this measure will not pay benefits retroactively to the estimated 3.1 million people whose benefits have run out since the program expired at the end of December. Instead, it will offer up to five months of benefits from the enactment date depending on how many weeks of eligibility an individual had left in the program before it lapsed.

The estimated $10 billion price tag would be offset by extending some customs user fees and through something called “pension smoothing,” a complicated provision that some conservatives consider an accounting gimmick.

“Congress needs to act,” said Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, who co-authored the bill with Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada.

“Restoring unemployment benefits is the right thing to do for American families. It’s a smart step too because it will provide for the resources that will help stimulate demand especially in those states like Rhode Island and Nevada that continue to see very high unemployment rates and the nation, as a whole, sees substantially higher long-term unemployment rates.”

Heller said he spoke with incoming House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy who told him an unemployment bill would have to include GOP proposals for job creation. Some Republicans have complained the extended benefits are a disincentive to find work.

Heller also encouraged President Barack Obama to get “more engaged” in lobbying Congress to act.

“He needs to pick up the phone, talk to the Speaker and say hey, how are we going to get this done?’” Heller said.

Both senators said it was unclear when or if the legislation will be taken up in the Senate. They said they wanted to introduce the compromise bill to encourage the House to act.

 


Filed under: Dean Heller • Jack Reed • unemployment
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Hillary Izexi

    How about doing what we can to get our economy running?
    Nah... Let's put ObamaCare in place and hit employers with more employee taxes. Want to drop your employees into the "affordable" ObamaCare health plans? Nope! Barrack signed an executive order to put a halt to that. Oh well, guess you have to just switch them all to part time.
    While we're at it, let's hike up the minimum wage. Not only will costs go up for everyone and everything, it makes it much more attractive to put operations overseas.
    Another kick to the gut is Obama's NSA extension... Why do business with American tech companies when their systems are already compromised by the NSA.

    Obamanomics: there is no disparity between lower class and middle class... After you obliterate what is left of the middle class.

    June 24, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy who told him an unemployment bill would have to include GOP proposals for job creation"

    Teatroll Rosetta stone says: "We're going to attach Keystone Pipeline to this and some tax cuts for the wealthy and maybe even attempt repeal of the minimum wage and the thing will be dead in the water, so keep dreaming. If you're unemployed it's ALWAYS your own fault and if you don't like being unemployed then you need to start growing accustomed to the idea that you're only ever going to get slave wages or nothing, because power and control over the gov't is now officially accomplished via wealth, so now more than ever there's absolutely no way in hell the wealthy are going to be letting go of their wealth."

    June 24, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. DRAKE MALLARD

    where is a provisions to cut benefits/ services and lifetime health coverage, salaries for Politicians

    The fat cats in DC need to cut their salaries, benefits and pensions while they are at it. I know, I won’t be holding my breath for that one!!. (They vote on their own raises, healthcare, and pension plans, and we are left with the bill)

    You know what they want? Obedient workers ­ people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly chittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And, now, they're coming for your Social Security. They want your funking retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all, sooner or later, because they own this funking place. It's a big club, and you ain't in it. You and I are not in the big club."

    June 24, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. Riddick

    Nuke it

    June 24, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  5. Silence DoGood

    "Both senators said it was unclear when or if the legislation will be taken up in the Senate. They said they wanted to introduce the compromise bill to encourage the House to act."
    -------------
    So this is where conservatives, if they disagreed, would make a counter proposal.
    You know – if they cared to pay attention.

    June 24, 2014 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  6. Dean

    No more extensions. People need to get off their fat asses and go out and get a job. Thanks, Obama...you sir, are an idiot.

    June 24, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Come November, there will be close to 4 million people adversely affected by the GOTP effort to kill any and all long term unemployment benefits. Do Republicans really want to alienate nearly 4 million voters? Yup, you betcha.

    Republicans can do some of the most senseless positions on issues, that is until you look at it through the lens of greed. Paying out benefits means less money available to give someone a tax cut. Yeah, it's just that simple. Greed.

    June 24, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. Kinard

    Can't have people eating, going to school, living indoors. There may be another conflict around the corner we need to get involved with, and we can't have the money come up short for this. We've got priorities don't you know.

    June 24, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. just asking

    the recession ended 5 years ago and the leftist democrats claim everything is just great with the economy. why then do they want more unemployment benefits? so which one is the lie and the scam?!

    June 24, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "the recession ended 5 years ago and the leftist democrats claim everything is just great with the economy. why then do they want more unemployment benefits? so which one is the lie and the scam?!"

    The lie and the scam = your mischaracterization of everything everyone is actually saying and arguing. Have fun burning your straw men though.

    June 24, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. Rick McDaniel

    Total waste of money. Create jobs, and stop the hand outs. Until there are JOBS, there can be unemployment relief of any kind.

    June 24, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  12. salty dog

    True gop the people get a short term extension on a small benefit, and the gop wants long term big dollar tax cuts you know,Ike the ones that spurred so much job creation. This is the jobs plan, hold the workers hostage to further enrich the already wealthy, same plan, and the only one they know and literally the only time they mentioned jobs, pathetic.

    June 24, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. yolanda

    @Sniffitt, how are those anger management classes coming along? Chill pills are not too expensive under Obamacare....try a dose, you might like it.

    June 24, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. MaryM

    Leave it to the repubs in the House. Just screw the Americans that are hurting , cause the majority of repubs in the house Really dont care!!

    June 24, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. salty dog

    We need to kill the unions and let the Koch brothers decide what standard of living we deserve, and our benefits, and hours and safety standards(none), and our tax bracket. Who needs the FDA, IRS, dept of agriculture, and any and all regulations regarding the environment? Let the Koch brothers decide, you'll be fine.

    June 24, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  16. Silence DoGood

    @Dean
    No more extensions. People need to get off their fat asses and go out and get a job. Thanks, Obama...you sir, are an idiot.
    ---------------–
    Sounds like someone needs a visit from Karma.
    Or a Twilight Zone episode.

    June 24, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Dean

    No more extensions. People need to get off their fat asses and go out and get a job. Thanks, Obama...you sir, are an idiot.
    --------------------------------
    There are not enough jobs to go around. Economic policies and trade deals over the past two decades have resulted in the loss of 50,000 manufacturing sites in this country, at the cost of 8 million jobs... ...that's 8 million, good paying, middle class jobs. Of those that are still here, industrial automation has taken over many jobs. Auto plants that used to require 30,000 workers can now be run with just 3000 and produce far more cars.

    To make matters worse, the cost of higher education has far outpaced inflation, and his quickly becoming out of reach for the average middle class family, much less someone who is out of work... ...someone who cannot get a student loan to pay for tuition because they are out of work. People need to unemployment to reboot their careers in many cases. Are there some people out there who are frauds and coach potatoes? No doubt there are, but that is not just cause to kill the benefits for everyone who might need them.

    June 24, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  18. salty dog

    Love if when a rwnj, who continually votes for a party who doesn't represent them, calls Obama, a college law professor an idiot, too funny! From someone who had been told by the gop they will raise his taxes, and cut his social security, and Medicaid, to give out tax cuts to the richest among us, yea, your a genius alright, just funny!

    June 24, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  19. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    If you're not rich it's your own fault. Tough. Starve.

    To those that keep yapping about the recession ended 5 years ago tell that to all of those that lost their jobs in 2009-2010. I could give less than a damn what a rich economist said. In Michigan jobs dried up fast the last 2 months of 08 thru 2010. Half the state was out of work.

    June 24, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    “He [Pres. Obama] needs to pick up the phone, talk to the Speaker and say hey, how are we going to get this done?’” Heller said.
    ---------------------------–
    Actually, John Boehner needs to exert some leadership over his caucus so that when Pres. Obama negotiates with him the president will know that the deal will come to a vote in the House. The right wing extremists in the House have made Boehner's credibility worthless.

    Pres. Obama has negotiated deals with Boehner that have always fallen through when Boehner takes them back to the House. Pres. Obama has extended invitations to the Republicans to no avail. They've been known to skip state dinners. They don't return phone calls, letters, messages, or anything.

    June 24, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. Chris-E...al

    Democrats rather give to the illegals And radicals . Dems want to study hogs and wind and sunspots ocean currents and worms and minnows and algae and fungi and cow poop gas . Thats where the cash is . Its up and in smoke .

    June 24, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  22. "Breath and Release"

    @Rick McDaniel

    Total waste of money. Create jobs, and stop the hand outs. Until there are JOBS, there can be unemployment relief of any kind.
    ---------------------–
    I don't say this often or lightly but it must be said: "What a moron!"

    June 24, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  23. salty dog

    Wake up, I was laid off in 2009, first time in twenty years, I didn't have seniority in my union shop, but I respected that 3 months later I got a visit from the owner asking me to come back, I now have the seniority I need to avoid future layoffs. Snyder is a traitor, and a liar, and on the Koch brothers payroll. His campaign ads tout Michigan's leading the comeback, but I thought things were terrible, typical gop talking out of both sides of your mouth.

    June 24, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  24. Rudy NY

    Extending unemployment benefits will, without a doubt, encourage the unemployed to stay unemployed. We are allowing able bodied citizens to simply drain our economy!

    June 24, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  25. Ol' Yeller

    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs... this was the mantra of the righties when they won the House (though Dems got a million more votes than them; they still won). The Jobs, Jobs, Jobs they promised is just like the trickle down wealth they promised (and have not delivered since... when?). Yet we still have the deans and the just askings and the hillary izexis' who would have you believe if we will just be patient the righties will deliver us those six figure jobs (heck, they fight against 10 bucks an hour- are you friggin' daft?) and we will ALL worship on the right wing altar of the upper class we have all been welcomed into.
    What a crock... if you are middle class or poor and you vote republicant, you might as well just run full speed into a brick wall head first, because if you are that stupid then maybe you can get a job fixing the brick wall your thick headed melon just cracked, but you would not take it as it might cut into your disability check. Red state food stamp recipients who only watch faux news, drink old milwaukee beer, and routinely shoot each other in the face on Friday nights (just after whippin' up on the wife and kids) are the republicant base and when the master koch brothers say dance... then by gawd they dance!
    And we pay...
    by having a country divided into the party of no (except to the rich fat cats, where every answer is not yes, but yes sir!), versus the party of trying to fix the problems we face and act like grown ups all the while having to reign in the givaways the republicants continuously try to provide to the uber wealthy, the oil and gas industry, and the military contractors.

    June 24, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
1 2