Long Term Unemployment Benefit Deal Update today April 9, 2014:
The deal to extend long term unemployment benefits to approximately 2.5 million Americans passed through the Senate this week. The official vote to pass the bill through the Senate happened Monday and passed with a majority count of 59 to 38 in favor of the deal. Democrats in the Senate favored the deal, but only several Republicans gave the deal their vote of approval. Prominent Republican Senators include Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois. The President was so enthused that he sent out a Tweet that said, “The Senate took action on a bipartisan bill. It’s now up to the House to follow suit.” The President urges the House, which is led by Republicans, to approve the deal so that he may sign it into law.
Dean Heller of Nevada, the lead Republican sponsor of the Senate bill, has requested a meeting with House Speaker John Boehner to discuss ways to move the deal through the House. Boehner has been staunchly against passing the deal as it now stands. He has cited the bill’s lack of potential to promote job growth as one primary reason that it should be dismissed from consideration. Boehner has also cited concerns from various state officials and administrators regarding the bill’s weak potential for actual implementation. Boehner reports that it would be administratively difficult to implement the deal is it is now designed. As it stands now, the current bill would restore benefits for five months and the benefits would be retroactive to last December.