Posts Tagged ‘unemployment extension’

DeGette expresses ‘extraordinary frustration’ as House leaders reject payroll tax deal

Posted on: December 21st, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments

Republican Colorado congressional members joined their House colleagues today in blaming the Senate for failing to pass a long-term extension of unemployment benefits and a payroll tax break, but senior Denver Democrat Diana DeGette scoffed at that notion on Tuesday.

“Today I join the American people in their extraordinary frustration over the leadership of the House yet again creating a politically motivated crisis and placing the financial security of millions of American families in jeopardy,” DeGette said in a statement.

The U.S. Senate on Saturday overwhelmingly (89-10) passed a two-month extension that the House rejected 229-193 on Tuesday, with House Speaker John Boehner and the conservative Republican caucus insisting on a one-year extension. House and Senate Democrats are refusing to play ball.

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo.

“The Senate was in such a rush to get out of town and start their vacations that they didn’t complete their work and slapped together another stopgap, short-term measure that will do nothing to create the certainty that this economy needs to expand and to create jobs,” Colorado Republican Rep. Mike Coffman said in a release.

“Congress can’t even agree on a tax cut they all agree with,” said Joe Miklosi, a Democrat running for Coffman’s 6th Congressional District seat. “Senate Republicans and Democrats managed to negotiate a reasonable compromise and it’s unacceptable that House Republicans continue the relentless partisan bickering. The consequences of a failure to act will have major economic repercussions.”

The only silver lining for some Democrats and members of Colorado’s conservation community is that a provision compelling President Obama to fast track a decision on the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline is also caught up in the congressional stalemate. Coffman this morning was blasted by environmental groups for supporting the provision.

Colorado activists wearing Santa hats delivered coal and sang coal carols at Coffman’s Lone Tree office. They accused Coffman of pandering to energy interests, which they say have contributed more than $145,000 to his re-election campaign.

“The House brings shame on itself when its members take tens of millions in big oil money and then do the industry’s bidding,” 350.org founder Bill McKibben said in a release. “Keystone XL creates no net jobs and pours carbon into the atmosphere. That’s why millions across the country opposed it. Its only beneficiaries are the fossil fuel industry and the politicians they support.”

The Keystone XL provision was seen as sweetener in the deal to get House Republicans to vote for the payroll tax break, but apparently it wasn’t enough to overcome reservations about the length of the deal. But DeGette said that the Senate deal is the best that can be hoped for in the current political climate.

“While a two-month extension is far from ideal, given the intransigence that has marked this year in Congress, and the difficult negotiations that have already taken place on this bill, it is clear more time is needed to develop an effective year-long solution,” DeGette said.

“This short-term extension would allow time for more negotiation without forcing American families to endure a tax hike or the devastating consequences of losing their unemployment benefits.”

Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn also tried to blame the Senate: “I urge my Democrat colleagues in the Senate to return to Washington and work with the House on a bill to give a full year tax break to American families. The House stands ready to get the job done and work through the holidays, just as many other Americans are doing. We are committed to giving middle class families a tax cut for a full year as the President has requested.”

But even some Senate Republicans are calling out their counterparts in the House.

“It is harming the Republican Party. It is harming the view, if it’s possible anymore, of the American people about Congress,” Arizona Sen. John McCain told CNN. “And we’ve got to get this thing resolved and with the realization that the payroll tax cut must remain in effect.”

House Republican leaders want Senate Democrats to return to Washington and appoint conferees to negotiate a deal with the House.

“We believe there is common ground on this issue and we can provide some certainty in a full year’s worth of tax relief for the working taxpayers of this country,” House Republican Leader Eric Cantor said in a release. “Now it’s up to [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid, because the bill is back in the Senate.”

DeGette urged Reid to do the same thing:

“I had no choice but to vote against the politically motivated motion to go to conference,” she said in a statement. “However, given the dire consequences for the American people, I must now strongly urge … Reid to appoint conferees and work toward a common-sense solution for our nation before Jan. 1. I stand ready to vote at any time to help the millions of Americans who rely upon these critical funds.”

Payroll tax bill includes funds for more immigration detention beds

Posted on: December 20th, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments
The congressional showdown over payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits continues after the GOP-led House voted Tuesday against a Senate bill approved over the weekend.

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Florida jobless rate drops amid gamesmanship over unemployment benefits

Posted on: December 19th, 2011 by The American Independent 1 Comment
As the state reports that the unemployment rate in Florida dropped again during the month of November, the fate of unemployment benefits for Floridians remains unclear, as Congress continues to disagree over how to extend the payments.

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Approved GOP House bill extends payroll tax cuts, reduces unemployment compensation

Posted on: December 14th, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments

The GOP-sponsored “Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act,” which extends payroll tax cuts and extends but reduces unemployment benefits through 2012, passed in the U.S. House Tuesday night, but it will not pass in the Senate. (more…)

House GOP bill links payroll tax cut to oil pipeline approval, cuts to unemployment benefits

Posted on: December 13th, 2011 by The American Independent 1 Comment
A GOP bill that would cut payroll taxes for American workers and approve an oil pipeline also contains changes to federally funded unemployment compensation programs set to expire Dec. 31.

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Obama hints at push for unemployment extension

Posted on: June 8th, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments

During a joint press conference with German Chancellor Andrea Merkel on Tuesday, President Obama suggested that he would like to explore with Congressional leaders the possibility of extending unemployment benefits again.

Some of the steps that we took during the lame duck session, the payroll tax, the extension of unemployment insurance, the investment in — or the tax breaks for business investment in plants and equipment — all those things have helped. And one of the things that I’m going to be interested in exploring with the members of both parties in Congress is how do we continue some of these policies to make sure that we get this recovery up and running in a robust way.

Another extension seems highly unlikely despite continuing high unemployment rates. The Republican-led House appears to be unwilling to do another extension unless the cost is offset by budget cuts.

Unemployment extension meeting to happen Thursday on Capitol Hill

Posted on: April 6th, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments

The meeting that House GOP leaders said they would have with the two legislators who are pushing for the establishment of a Tier 5 for unemployment insurance that would give an additional 14 weeks of benefits for the long-term jobless will happen on Thursday.

MLive’s Jackie Headapohl reports:

House GOP leaders will meet Thursday, April 7, in Washington DC with Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Bobby Scott (D-Va.) to discuss proposed legislation to extend unemployment benefits by 14 weeks for the long-term jobless…

Lee and Scott initially proposed the bill be passed as emergency spending and not subject to pay-go rules. However, Lee sent a letter to GOP leaders last month requesting the meeting to discuss ways to offset the $16 billion cost of the extension in the federal budget in an attempt to get the bill passed by any means necessary.

It still seems unlikely that they will be able to reach any agreement that both sides can support, but at least they’re talking about it.

Bill introduced to extend unemployment for 99ers

Posted on: December 20th, 2010 by Mary Tuma No Comments

U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) has introduced legislation to extend unemployment insurance another 14 weeks for Americans who have exhausted their 99 weeks of benefits, according to a report on MLive.com.

The bill has been referred to committee and is unlikely to pass the House if brought out of committee and to the floor for a vote.

Congress passed legislation last week, which President Barack Obama signed into law, which continued unemployment benefits for millions of unemployed Americans. The bill included extending the Bush era tax cuts for all income levels, but did not include any benefit extensions for 99ers.

Republicans in Congress refused to extend benefits earlier this month saying the cost would increase the national debt. They negotiated with Obama to create the combined tax cut and unemployment extension legislation.