Nathan'ette Burdine's The Nyle Magazine

  News     Politics       Entertainment      Under the Radar      Double-Talking            

 Politics Archive 2014

A small group of GOP House members urge Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor to consider the unemployment benefits bill
by Nathan'ette Burdine: April 10, 2014

A small group of House Republicans {(Reps. Peter King (R-NY), Michael Grimm (R-NY), Chris Gibson (R-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Jon Runyan (R-NJ), Frank Lobiondo (R-NJ), and Joe Heck (R-NV)} sent a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA).

In the letter, the small group of Republicans urged Boehner and Cantor to consider bringing the unemployment benefits bill to the House floor for a vote: “Today, a bi-partisan deal was passed in the U.S. Senate that would retroactively restore unemployed benefits and extend these benefits for 5 months. As many Americans continue to struggle without benefits, we respectfully request that the House immediately consider this bill or a similar measure to restore unemployment benefits to struggling Americans.”

Speaker Boehner has said that he will not bring the Senate’s bill to the House floor for a vote. According to CBS News, Boehner said that the Senate’s proposal does not include a way to pay for the unemployment program, and the bill excludes programs that will help Americans to get off of long-term unemployment.

The Republicans who support considering the bill are from states (New Jersey, New York, and Nevada) where the unemployment rates are higher than the national average of 6.7%. Therefore, the chance that more people in these states will need unemployment assistance is greater than it is in states where the unemployment rate is lower than the national average.

Since the federally funded unemployment program ended at the end of December, the number of people who are in need of unemployment benefits has increased.

Thomas Perez, labor secretary, mentioned in a Monday press release that the number of people who are in need of unemployment benefits has increased from 1.3 million people to 2.2 million people.

The White House Economic Council has also warned that 3.6 million people will lose their unemployment benefits at the end of this year and more jobs will be lost if the unemployment benefits program isn’t extended.

In June 2008, former President George W. Bush signed into law the Emergency Compensation Unemployment Extension (EUC) bill. And in 2012, President Obama extended the EUC program.

On December 28, 2013, unemployment benefits ended for 1.3 million Americans due to the Ryan-Murray budget excluding funding for the EUC program.

In response to funding for the EUC program being excluded from the Ryan-Murray budget, Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Dean Heller (R-NV) sponsored the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act in December 2013.

The bill went through several procedural votes and additional amendments before being passed in the Senate on Monday.

The Senate Democrats were joined by six Republicans in voting 59-38 to pass the bill. The six Republicans who voted for the bill are Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dean Heller (R-NV), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Rob Portman (R-OH).

comments powered by Disqus