Boehner doesn’t like Senate unemployment deal

Obama: Opposition by most Republicans to extending the emergency benefits underscored GOP indifference to financially stressed Americans

President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio part ways following a St. Patrick's Day luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio part ways following a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Speaker John Boehner said Friday he thinks a bipartisan Senate deal to renew expired benefits for the long-term unemployed isn’t feasible, a remark that suggested the agreement is in trouble in the Republican-run House.

Asked Friday by The Associated Press what he thought of the Senate compromise, he said, “You mean the one that can’t be implemented?”

Asked if his comment meant he didn’t like the measure or that he wouldn’t bring it to the House floor for debate, Boehner, R-Ohio, said, “I didn’t say that.”

He gave no details about what the problem might be.

An aide to the speaker later said that Boehner believes making the jobless benefits retroactive to when that program expired in late December, which the Senate deal would do, isn’t workable.

Boehner is also unhappy that the Senate proposal lacks provisions creating jobs, the aide said, a condition Boehner has said must be part of any plan extending the benefits. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss Boehner’s comments.

On Thursday, senators from both parties said they had reached a roughly $10 billion compromise that would renew emergency jobless benefits that ended Dec. 28 and would be paid for by raising revenue. Coverage would be retroactive to Dec. 28 and would last for five months, meaning it would run through May.

The emergency benefits are for people who have exhausted their regular state unemployment coverage, which generally lasts 26 weeks. So far, just over 2 million people out of work for at least half a year are not getting emergency benefits because the program expired.

When the emergency program expired in late December, it fed a campaign-season competition over which party was best creating jobs and helping families still struggling to right themselves after the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

Democrats, backed by President Barack Obama, said opposition by most Republicans to extending the emergency benefits underscored GOP indifference to financially stressed Americans, while Republicans said they wanted an extension to be paid for and to improve federal job programs.

In December, Boehner said Republicans would consider extending emergency benefits “as long as it’s paid for and as long as there are other efforts that will help get our economy moving once again.”

Approval seems likely in the Democratic-run Senate after Congress returns from a weeklong recess in late March.

The measure will need 60 Senate votes to overcome Republican procedural tactics aimed at killing it. But with Democrats having 55 votes — including those of two usually supportive independents — supporters seemed to have a strong chance of reaching that threshold because five Republicans co-sponsored the announced deal.

They are Sens. Dean Heller of Nevada, Susan Collins of Maine, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mark Kirk of Illinois.

Heller, a leader in the talks that led to Thursday’s Senate compromise, said the agreement “will finally give Americans certainty about their unemployment benefits.”

Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the leading Democratic bargainer, said the deal would help families and show “business and the markets that Congress is capable of coming together to do the right thing.”

Rhode Island had an unemployment rate in December of 9.3 percent and Nevada’s was 9 percent — the two worst rates in the nation.

Lawmakers said the proposal was fully paid for, with the bulk of the money raised by extending some customs fees through 2024 and delaying some companies’ contributions to their pensions, in effect increasing their taxes now but reducing them later. More federal revenue would be raised by letting some companies make earlier payments to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which guarantees workers’ pensions.

The deal would end jobless payments to people earning more than $1 million a year. The lawmakers cited 2010 data showing that 0.03 percent of taxpayers earned over $1 million and received some form of federal or state unemployment benefits.

The agreement also has a provision aimed at improving programs that help the long-term unemployed find new jobs and strengthening how the government verifies that they are eligible for unemployment benefits and assistance in finding jobs.

Jobless Americans can qualify initially for state-sponsored unemployment benefits, which generally run for 26 weeks. After that, they can receive emergency federal coverage that lasts from 14 weeks to 47 weeks, depending on how high unemployment is in their state.

When the emergency program expired Dec. 28, 1.3 million people immediately lost those benefits. Since then, an average of 72,000 people weekly exhausted state benefits and could not receive emergency coverage, according to the liberal National Employment Law Project, bringing the current total to just over 2 million.

Average weekly emergency benefits last year were $287, the group said.

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AP Special Correspondent David Espo contributed to this report.
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Copyright © 2014 Capitol Hill Blue

Copyright © 2014 The Associated Press All Rights Reserved

22 Responses to "Boehner doesn’t like Senate unemployment deal"

  1. woody188  March 17, 2014 at 8:27 am

    It’s borrowed now, but “paid” for by robbing pensions and making payments based on projections through 2024, projections which always seem to be too optimistic and will need revised later.

    I feel for people that are unemployed, but a line has to be drawn some where and it’s our kids that paying for them, including seemingly at least one or two millionaires, until this bill is passed.

    • o_0  March 19, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      Starve the beast, Republicans are doing this on purpose.

      Something they’ve all read by Ayn Rand that’s got them all hot and bothered. As much as the right loves Ms. Rand and Vladimir Putin it a wonder they don’t all live in Russia. But I digress.

      The Republican party’s expressed goal is to cut taxes, shut the government down, run up the deficit disrupt agencies they vehemently hate like the EPA and IRS all with the intention of weakening the federal government. Weaken it to a point where it’s forced to shut down programs the right hates like Social Security, Medicare, EUC, SNAP basically any expenditure that helps people.

      Though Republics love the 100% tax payer financed privately run for profit prison industry. Somehow that represents free enterprise to the right. Go figure. But again I digress.

      The U.S. tax rate is the lowest in the western world. It’s currently historically low even for us. We also have the worst roads, no national high speed rail as in many industrialized countries. We have an underperforming school system, crumbling infrastructure on and on.

      All our tax rates are too low and when then go lower the American people lose.

      Raise taxes to Clinton era levels and we’ll have Clinton era prosperity. And NO debt.

  2. Jose  March 17, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    I believe a line has to be drawn too. On greedy corporations and corrupt politicians whos purpose is to serve themselfs. The rich get richer and the poor seem to fade away.. I also feel for the heartless people who care about nothing but themselves. Karma is a bitch when you have done wrong..
    There is more than enough money that can be managed to pass the unemployment extention bill that would help our fellow americans who have worked for this entitlement. Its not a hand out as people make it out to be. If you are not one of the 2 million going through this hard time, be thankful for what you have and show compasion for one day you may be the one who needs help….

    • o_0  March 19, 2014 at 6:54 pm

      Exactly! The Republicans want to “starve the beast”. and kill the the federal government. Why? Because the federal government more equitably distributes power and wealth and the right HATES that. They think money is power and that’s all it should take.

      Clean water, clean air, worker protection, child labor laws all of that sounds like great idea to a sane person.
      Not to the right it doesn’t. To them is vilified as Socialism, big government and most critically “job killing” regulation.
      By Gunga Din, how in the name of pete are we going to compete with China if we have to pay extra to keep the water clean enough for humans to drink. Sheesh!

      I tell you the beast we should be starving. It is the one that lines the pockets of the political elite in this country. All the millions of dollars of influence peddling that is running roughshod over the will of the American people.

      The only way you’re going to win an election i modern America is if you have, or have access to the MILLIONS of dollars it takes to win.

      That’s the real beast ladies in gentleman, we kill that beast and we regain control of our country.

  3. Dick Fitswell  March 17, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    i have no kids

  4. articulate and clean  March 17, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Just when people were starting to find work and getting off the junk, they pull this. The handouts have to end sometime…now is as good a time as any.

  5. mike schlichting  March 17, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Its been three months ,how am I suppose to pay for house,lights gas, transportation, or even commute to work until I would get first check. I’m loseing house which I’ve been buying for twenty five yrs. I’m 58. Yes old been welding all my life now I have health issues ,but too young for ssi. Thanks for the America dream,Boehner

  6. dan  March 17, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    its sad how we so called americans can not come together and help each other,…thier are millons of americans around this so called contry ..why cant we merge together create an event a fund donate to the unemployed charity ,im sure if we all get together i mean all we could help each other and send congress and the senate to hell…..we do it for other contries y not uor own ..where have our moral gone …their must be a change in the way we view life its self.. how can people sleep at night knowing that other people dont have a place to sleep food to eat clothes to waer.. if each american donates 5 dollars every american we could aleaveate some of this crisis…..lets hit the streets people…reach out we can do it this is AMERICA FOR GODS SAKE…….

  7. brett zelinski  March 17, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Mr. Boehner dose not care about the long term unemployed he just want to stick it to the democrats and pres. Obama he is not losing his house or car or even the internet which makes it almost impossible to land a job because you have no gas to even go to an interview if your lucky enough to get one mr.boehner how can you sleep at night knowing what is happening to so many fellow americans have some compassion and heart and do the right pass the u.i.ext.

  8. lewiscafarella  March 17, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Please pass this, I’m almost homeless. PLEASE.

  9. John Turney  March 17, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    The GOP/Republicans casued the Global Economic Meltdown in 2009 and had no qualms of having taxpayers pay for a bailout for the banks, while they have fought any tax on banks to pay tax payers back and to create a fund to cover banks in the event (when this happens again). Yet when it comes to helping those who didn’t cause this and hurt most by the GOP / Republican caused 2009 DEPRESSION (2nd GOP / Republican caused Depression) who lost their jobs due to no fault of their own the GOP/Republicans feels we can’t afford to pay for this. Time to vote out ALL Republicans.

  10. John Turney  March 17, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    WOODY – Where was the line drawn for bailing out banks which caused this economic mess or the 2 GOP Wars which gained our nation absolutely nothing yet costs the United States TRILLIONS?

    • woody188  March 18, 2014 at 9:24 am

      Two wrongs don’t make a right John. I was one of the few that said we should let the banks fail. Now the next bubble is about to burst from the same problem that wasn’t addressed the first time. This is what happens when people aren’t held to account for their actions. There is no such thing as too big to fail. Yes, it would have hurt many to have so many banks close, but now it’s set to destroy our entire way of life. Good luck!

  11. johnWBoneage  March 18, 2014 at 12:46 am

    Boehner keeps changing the requirements! Now he won’t do retroactive?

    What a Schmuck!

    People are desperate!

    This guy is just playing games!

    People need to vote this d***h*** out of office!

  12. sandy fletcher  March 18, 2014 at 8:25 am

    for all of you people that say they shouldn’t do this and you are worried about your kids half the young people today don’t want to work. we the people that have worked all of our lives and need some help now they are not there to help anyone but themselves.

  13. woody188  March 18, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Why are we hanging curtains in broken windows?

    Address the labor arbitrage situation or the same problems will only compound further.

  14. jose  March 18, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    congress needs to make a decision and quite holding a carrot over those counting on this bill to pass…desperation causes a lot of problems, not only for those directly affected but those around them…then what…united we stand …. divided we fall..?? what the hell lets just have an all out revolution and quit all this biqering over what little is left and just divided among those who survive…then there will be plenty to go around.. isnt that what it comes down too when people dont get along..look what is going on allover the world..just a matter of time…right

  15. Joy Lowe  March 18, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Does Boehner think he’s God.

  16. dianemad  March 18, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Please, people. Read about Starve the Beast! The Republican loonies want to cut taxes so that the government will fail and all the safety nets will be eliminated — that includes Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (So even if YOU aren’t older your relatives–Mom, Dad, Gram or Gramps– will be effected). This will make the US a third world country, which is their aim so that people will work for nothing and the workers of the world will live in poverty while the rich party it up. They have little care for the United States because many of the super rich do not even live here. Also read about Ayn Rand whom many Republicans venerate (such as Paul Ryan). And while you are reading–better brush up on your Charles Dickens’ novels because if the Republicans are not thrown out of Congress by the seat of their pants – we will all be living in another “Victorian Age”.

  17. dianemad  March 18, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    The Republicans are like a “one trick” pony. Obamacare. That is all they can rant about, they certainly can’t say they have accomplished anything. This is the party where one of their members when asked about what would happen to a sick person with no insurance, replied “they should be allowed to die”. Nor do they have any compassion for the poor (those on foodstamps shouldn’t be allowed to buy fish but should eat cheap, high calorie food); As for the old–they are living too long (oh, how they want to get rid of Social Security and Medicare so they won’t have to pay back the money that was stolen to pay for the Iraq war). And children??? Although this is the party against abortion they seem to think that once a child is popped out they can just go hungry. So now the unemployed are being insulted by the constant bombardment of comments that try to brainwash the public into thinking those who are unemployed are lazy and would rather live off their paltry unemployment checks than work.

  18. Bonnie Stone  March 19, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Mr boenher my wish for you is that you have to live homeless and broke for 3 months…. Maybe then you might turn into a human being. You need to be voted out you have NO heart. You sir act like your in the KKK you have no compassion to help the American people. Americans should help Americans not other countries unless there is a disaster.

  19. o_0  March 19, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    The Republican party is trying to manipulate the political system to achieve their unpopular agenda.

    This notion that somehow by getting rid of regulations that protect our water air and workers will be the trick that gets our economy back in order is just ludicrous.

    The Republicans know if they come too directly at the government institutions that make the United States habitable by human beings that the voters will revolt.

    But, if they bankrupt the government, or obstruct it’s ability to function. Well then they can make a case to the American people that the government is broken and bad and should not be funded with our hard earned tax dollars. That is of course unless our very hard to earn (if the Republicans have their way and get rid of labor laws) tax dollars are used to fuel their private enterprises. How is it that the U.S. prison system is becoming a private-for-profit industry fueled ENTIRELY by tax dollars??

    Now that oughta be a crime.

    The beast we should starve is the political elite and the PACs and lobbyist that support them.

    Why don’t Republicans go after the real problem in our government?

    There is TOO much money flowing into the pockets of lawmakers from TOO many different people. Elections in this country are bought and paid for by the rich corrupting the system.

    Fix that John Boehner then you’ll have the moral authority to take money out of the little guys pocket.

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