Friday, October 9, 2009

Unemployment Extension Deal Reached In The Senate

Dumping the idea of tapping as yet unspent stimulus cash to fund extension of unemployment benefits, Senate leaders reached a deal yesterday to bring a bill to the floor next week under regular order, extending the federal unemployment tax through June 30, 2011 to pay for the bill's costs. The Senate compromise measure would give all 50 states an additional 14 weeks of benefits, and a total of 20 more weeks in any state where unemployment exceeds a three month average of 8.5%.

Conference committee action resolving differences with any House passed extension could keep us all hanging through Thanksgiving before we know what the real benefit extension will look like.

According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, other House initiatives to attack growing unemployment could include both time extensions and increased eligibility for the $8,000 home buyer tax credit, acceleration of depreciation deductions for businesses, a five year tax loss carryback to replace the current two year provision, and additional federal assistance with cash strapped state budgets. When Pelosi brought these ideas out of a series of morning meetings with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the Oval Office, House Minority Leader John Boehner panned the concepts. "These high unemployment rates are not coming down. The stimulus is not working, and some of the policies that are continuing to be promoted here are not going to help the situation, they're going to make it worse."
blog comments powered by Disqus