12 billion won’t break the economy but it’s a bad start for sure.
And they still have to act soon to stop the tax hikes coming at year end before withholding goes up.
By Brian Faler
November 18 (Bloomberg) — A bill to extend jobless benefits for three months was defeated today in the U.S. House, increasing the odds that some of the nation’s long-term unemployed will start losing aid.
The measure fell short of the two-thirds majority needed for approval under an expedited process. The vote on the bill was 258 in favor, 154 opposed.
Republican lawmakers complained that the bill’s $12 billion cost would be added to the government’s budget deficit. They demanded offsetting savings elsewhere in the budget.
The vote was a replay of a partisan dispute earlier this year that led to benefits being cut off for some jobless people for more than a month. Aid again is set to expire Nov. 30 for some of the unemployed.
No firm number of those who would be affected was available, though Representative Sander Levin, a Michigan Democrat and chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, estimated almost 2 million Americans could see their aid cut off by the end of this year if Congress does not act.
The nation’s unemployment rate in October was 9.6 percent.
Congress will be out of session next week for the Thanksgiving holiday, which means lawmakers will have little time to find agreement by the end of this month.
“This bill is like déjà vu all over again, and not in a good way,” said Representative Charles Boustany, a Louisiana Republican. “We all want to help those in need but the American people also know someone has to pay when government spends money, and it shouldn’t be our children and grandchildren.”
Levin said, “I don’t see how we can go home for Thanksgiving when as a result of a failure of benefits, hundreds of thousands of people may not have a turkey on their table because they can’t afford it.”