Rand Paul: Extending jobless benefits a 'disservice' to workers
December 8th, 2013
02:07 PM ET
9 years ago

Rand Paul: Extending jobless benefits a 'disservice' to workers

(CNN) - Kentucky Republican and potential 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday extending unemployment benefits past what the U.S. federal government has already paid would be a "disservice" to workers.

"I do support unemployment benefits for the 26 weeks that they're paid for. If you extend it beyond that, you do a disservice to these workers," he said, appearing on "Fox News Sunday."

On December 28, unemployment benefits will expire for 1.3 million workers. In order for the jobless benefits to continue, lawmakers must extend the recession-era program by the end of the month. The Congressional Budget Office notes that if the benefits expire, the U.S. gross domestic product could fall 0.2 percentage points next year.

President Barack Obama and Democrats in recent weeks have ramped up efforts to pressure Congress to extend jobless benefits, and House Speaker John Boehner indicated that he's open to the legislation.

Paul, a tea party favorite who has long been opposed to unemployment benefits, pointed to a study that showed employers are less likely to hire the long-term unemployed.

White House: Extend jobless benefits

"When you allow people to be on unemployment insurance for 99 weeks, you're causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group in our economy. And it really - while it seems good, it actually does a disservice to the people you're trying to help," Paul said.

But the White House and Democrats say evidence shows that jobless benefits don't stop people from trying to find work. In his weekly address, Obama cited estimates by the Department of Labor and the Council of Economic Advisers that say failing to extend benefits could cost businesses 240,000 jobs.

“If Congress refuses to act, it won’t just hurt families already struggling - it will actually harm our economy. Unemployment insurance is one of the most effective ways there is to boost our economy," Obama said.

The monthly economic report released last week showed unemployment has fallen to its lowest level since November 2008, at 7%, and the economy added 203,000 jobs in November, showing steady but painfully slow economic progress. But 11 million Americans remain unemployed as the job market struggles to heal in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Extending jobless benefits for another year would cost about $26 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Rand Paul has ideas to help out Detroit

Last week, Paul visited Detroit to lay out a plan to rescue the city, the largest in history to enter bankruptcy and with an unemployment rate at or greater than 1.5% of the national rate.

CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: Rand Paul • unemployment
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Bob, Norton Shores MI

    I think it is a greater disservice to the people of the Unites States of America that we allow, er excuse me. vote in people that have an attitude that $7.65 for federal minimum wage is alright and then say go find a job. It would be different if the federal minimum wage was enough to sustain a small family but it's not. Why do they want to give seniors on SS a 1.5% increase but then give their staffers 4 to 5 % increases. Double Standard? DUH!

    December 8, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. Jamie, Michigan

    Funny he has no problem supporting all the lost soles in his state on the government doles for social security disability and their oxy addictions...

    December 8, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. Bobbi Baker

    Oh, and by the way, the GOP owes us $64 billion for shutting down the government. Can we garnish their wages?

    December 8, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. don

    History shows Clinton changed welfare... more people got jobs. Maybe we need to review what Clinton did right?

    December 8, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  5. rs

    The heartlessness of the GOP knows no bounds. They'll make up idiocy like the statement in the story to explain taking away benefits from the people who need them the most. The GOP hates the poor and middle class and I wish just once they'd be honest (like Mr. Romney was with his 47% blast) and admit it so we can all debate the validity of their "only the rich" policies.

    December 8, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  6. Charles

    As someone who was unemployed for 15 months and DID recieve unemployment the full time, I am very grateful for it. Plus, I was finally able to find a very good paying job and that job led me to where I currently am with an awesome company, in a great position, making way more than I ever did prior to being laid off.
    The point is, I had paid into 'the system', and deservedly used it to its max and thank goodness for it! I was able to keep a shred of dignity by keeping my house and keeping food on the table. I cut way back on everything else to make it work.

    Rand Paul has no idea what he is talking about.

    December 8, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. Bill

    This Aqua Buddha does not have a prayer if he runs for president. Disservice??? I guess putting food on the table, paying rent and clothes for your kids is not a worthy endeavor. A pathetic excuse for a human being and a US senator.

    December 8, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  8. CB FL

    I hope the American people remember come Nov. 2014

    December 8, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  9. belinda

    After recent comments by the GOP, it's clear that the only thing they are willing to fight for are the rights of Corporations and not the American people. It's time to play hardball. 2014 will be the year that we fight back and send the clear message. We aren't going to take it anymore. Americans are sick and tired of tea party politics.

    December 8, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  10. tom l

    One of my new faves from liberals is how they tout the success of Obama and point to the stock market as evidence of his great triumph yet then they will deride and complain of the greed from those corporations and their "record profits". Awesome

    December 8, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  11. Faux Scandals

    This is just another daily rand paul idiotic statement.

    December 8, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain

    There have never been and never will be prosperous, civil societies with thriving middle classes as a result of Rant's policies.

    Epic fail from the get-go. And anyone with half a brain knows it.

    December 8, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. Andrew

    Rand Paul: the perfect example of a finger shaking, pontificating, preaching, two-faced and otherwise vomit-spewing tea party sweetheart, who wakes up to look in the mirror and get off on the reflection of those who adore him.
    Otherwise, Paul is useless, irrelevant, and categorically immaterial with regards to proposing genuine and worthy ideas on advancing the human race past the borders of his minuscule Kentucky kingdom of teas.
    I gotta give him credit for writing legislation subsidizing his political constituents with free 'chawin tobacci', spit snuffs, and silver plated spittoons. What a powerful back-woods King indeed!

    December 8, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  14. Kd

    well all u unemployment couch potatoes u get tired of looking for work so why not. There are jobs out there your just so flushstraited and tired of looking for work. Yea its hard but u got to keep trying. U have to want to work or u, willcontinue to be a couch potatoe. Im not aggance getting unemployment but the line needs to be drawn somewere.

    December 8, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  15. gustifer53

    Rand Paul is a typical Teabag, they are shameless, spineless, HEARTLESS, worthless and clueless. This one of the politicians that have bogged down the government, buy not voting on a jobs bill. I think we should go ahead and put him on the Unemployment. Hew has nothing to worry about money wise, daddy will give him another Billion $$$'s. I just can't understand the Republicans and the Teabaggers being so heartless not only in this matter, but on about every other one. They shutdown the government and cost taxpayers 24Billion $$$$'s, that money could have gone to the unemployed. What a bunch of worthless they are!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 8, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  16. Rusty Krus

    Aw, Gee,
    So why so many people out of work? I know. It because of Conservative idea's No, that can't be it. Conservatives never have power. So, it must be because of Big Liberal ideas voted for by Liberal Politicians, approved by the people. People vote for it, now got it. Humm? Maybe people change vote next time .Naw, peasants buy Big Liberal lies Keep Liberal's in power. Cut own throat. Run up 17 Trillion Dollar Federal debt.

    Why the contrived "folksy" dialect? I would understand if it were clever, but it's simply annoying at this point. BTW, your conservative heroes like Reagan and Bush ran up more debt than any Democrat.

    December 8, 2013 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  17. James Napoli

    The man does not understand
    The pain of unemployment. And the needs families have for the benefit. Not extending the benefits does not help the economy. It causes suffering. But the Tea Party refuses to understand the situation. They do not seem to want to help people in need.

    December 8, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  18. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    You should vote FOR it bland because your going to be a ONE TERM SENATOR, you QUACK!!!!!

    December 8, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  19. Peppy

    High unemp is what Obammy wants, wake up morons especially tampa timmy. As far as the cruddy global econ, thank Wille bill for that. (Would anyone leave his wife or daughter alone with Slick Willie???)

    December 8, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  20. Evergreen

    Yet not a word about the 24 BILLION dollars his party just flushed down the toilet. It takes longer than 24 weeks to find another job. Many of these people have worked and paid into system for decades. They now need help and the good Senator is giving them the middle finger.

    December 8, 2013 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  21. Deb in MT


    If that is true then payments to doctors by health insurance companies are a disservice to sick people
    Strange, but true: Rand is part of a group of doctors ('doctor' to Rand, since he seems to have licensed himself) who believe that they should not accept payments from ANY insurance companies once the ACA takes full effect.

    I wonder how many chickens a patient will need to pay for a triple bypass?

    Rand et al are a bunch of idiots.

    December 8, 2013 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  22. ST

    Rand Paul's statement is not quite different from Romney's 47%. Still he wants to jump onto 2016 Presidential battle. I do not know whether he knows where Romney is at the moment.

    December 8, 2013 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  23. Norm103

    If Senator Paul thinks that it is bad for our economy and will create a wider base of "users" whose only means of livelihood is unemployment that he refers to as a disservice; then why doesn't he take a pay cut and when he retires after this term (surely he wont get re-elected, America has shown their stupidity before) he should not take one red cent for being a member of Congress. That is the biggest "rip off" of the system that was ever invented. Talk about "blood money." He will still be eating filet mignon while the poor eats cat food.

    December 8, 2013 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  24. Former republican, now an independent

    I might listen to the opinion of a man who has worked for a living, but the son of a congressman, who more than likely didn't even work through college, doesn't strike me as a man who knows what serious labor is, or the trauma of losing a job. CNN, give me the opinion of a man who has actually worked for a living, not the rantings of a man born with a "silver spoon" in his mouth!

    December 8, 2013 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  25. dianelmerriam

    If the GOP is only for the 1%, then where do the votes come from that gets them to Congress?

    Think about this too. A lot of that 1% in any given year is our parents or grandparents in the best few earning years of their life, before they retire. It's them selling their paid off house to buy a smaller one or cashing in the retirement account to re-invest it. Do you really hate them so much?

    As to Paul personally, he's been one of the most consistent senators voting AGAINST crony corporate welfare and bailouts and the like.

    There are lots of people, on both sides of the aisle, that are more interested in lining their own pockets then actually representing the people who elect them. Paul isn't one of them though. Save your vitriol for those who deserve it.

    December 8, 2013 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
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