GOP Blocks Extension of Unemployment Insurance

Mike Lillis

Last week, Senate Democrats proposed extending unemployment insurance by 14 weeks — with an extra six weeks for states with unemployment above 8.5 percent — only to have Republicans block the measure on the chamber floor.

Last week, Senate Democratic leaders rolled out
a proposal to extend unemployment insurance by 14 weeks — with an extra
six weeks thrown in for those states where jobless figures have topped
8.5 percent — only to have Republicans block the measure on the chamber
floor.

Well, today it happened again.

According to the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
(D-Nev.), Democrats on Tuesday asked for consent to pass the bill, only
to be shot down by GOP leaders.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting
that Republicans aren’t objecting to the extension, but to how it’s
funded. (The Democrats’ plan would tap an expiring surtax on
businesses, while the Republicans want to use unspent money from the
stimulus bill.)

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The House has already passed its version of the extension. With
unemployment numbers creeping up each month, the pressure’s on the
Senate to work out a deal quickly.

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