Skip to comments.The Democrats’ secret plan to extend unemployment
Posted on 12/15/2013 2:08:46 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
When The Deal was struck in the House this week there was one element which nearly had some of the congressional Democrats in open revolt. (And may still proved to be a problem in the Senate.) The progressive members wanted to tie an extension of unemployment benefits into the mix. But doing that without being willing to find the money to pay for it was going to prove a deal buster for the GOP, so it didnt make the final cut. Never one to give up on an idea once hes gotten his teeth into it, Chris Van Hollen has cooked up a plan.
The Washington Posts Greg Sargent reports that Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) is organizing Democrats to vote against any farm bill that does not also include an extension of emergency unemployment benefits.
Van Hollen, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee and a former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is considered an influential member of the caucus.
He says the farm bill, which generally enjoys bipartisan support but is especially important to Republicans representing rural districts, provides Democrats next opportunity to force the Republican Partys hand on unemployment.
In general terms, this is nothing unusual for congressional tactics. Attaching a difficult bill as an amendment to a must pass measure like the Farm Bill is a time honored tactic. But there are two problems with this one. First of all, theres not much of an appetite for yet another compromise running around the Hill at the moment. The Farm Bill already had enough controversy surrounding it with conservatives without trying to tie some bells and whistles to it.
Second, the unemployment extension is already in hot water. It can certainly be passed, as it has in the past, but the Democrats are going to need to come up with a way to pay for it. Or are they? There are apparently some people from the Starboard side of the aisle making the case for an extension, such as the American Enterprise Institutes Michael Strain. (H/T Outside the Beltway)
In normal times states (typically) offer 26 weeks of unemployment (UI) benefits to qualifying workers. During recessions, the federal government has in the past supplemented the offering of the states, providing additional weeks of UI benefits to workers who are unemployed for longer than 26 weeks. This is a reasonable and prudent measure if 26 weeks is deemed long enough for a worker to find a job in normal economic conditions, then its not long enough during a recession, when jobs are much harder to come by. This is doubly true for a downturn as serious as the Great Recession. When the labor market is in better shape, of course, the emergency federal extensions are allowed to expire.
As you can see from the figure below, in the two recessions prior to the Great Recession emergency federal UI expired when the long-term unemployment rate the share of workers who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer was 1.3 percent. The long-term unemployment rate is currently at twice that level.
This is a rather different approach than the one Rand Paul took recently, but it makes one thing clear. Its the season of surprises in Washington, and were probably going to see a number of battles between the parties turning out in strange and unfamiliar ways as we move into the mid-term election season.
“Where’s that money coming from?”
From Obama’s stash, don’tcha know?
Yes, we are recovering from evil capitalism each and every day, so sayeth The One.
Great Recession = Greatest Depression (Six Years and Counting)
Awesome. Then they will join conservatives in the House who killed the bill last time because it is laden with pork.
RATS love this: a growing economy increases revenue which then enables them to make more people dependent on government. That’s how they think. To quote Jack Kemp, “It’s counter intuitive.”
If it’s “SECRET” how come there’s a story about the plan on a website?
Ryan made a deal which proves he is either stupid or complicit. Why? The two cuts he made won't hold....that would be the unemployment benefit extension and Veteran's benefits. There should've been something in the bill sequestering any cuts.
And why not defund funds to Obamacare? Because Obama said they can't? Oh, yeah, the RINOs want federally mandated health insurance as long as their paymasters in the insurance companies profit.
Is it possible to get any more disgusted than I am now?
Won’t be long and it will not matter, everybody will be on unemployment as this nation crumbles into being another Detroit. Who do you think should carry that blame?
I’m always missing these gravy boats.
A true democrat extend unemployment but can’t create jobs.
RATS lead, RINOs follow. There is only one party in Washington: The Re-Election Party dedicated to the personal enrichment of its members at taxpayer expense.
Oh yeah, John boohoo Bohner.
When 40% of taxpayers pay negative taxes (receive more back than they pay in), and many of those people are also recipients of multiple government assistance programs, you understand the Democrat strategy. They confiscate money from people who don’t vote for them and give it to those that do.
What is truly amazing is the number of Republican politicians who are more than happy to help them do it.
The Democrats may be miscalculating here as badly as they did with the Sequester.
The Democrats thought that they didn’t need to propose any “cuts” because Republicans wouldn’t dare allow Defense to be cut. Republicans decided that getting a real cut with the Sequester was worth cutting Defense.
Many conservatives, especially Tea Party conservatives, believe Farm subsidies are simply pork .. another version of crony capitalism... and want them cut. If the Democrats add another year of unemployment benefits to the Farm Bill, it actually gives Republicans the cover they need to kill the Farm subsidies.
“Please don’t throw me into that briar patch ...”
Let me guess...they want the unemployment bennies to extend to Nov 4, 2014....
Lemme guess the plan,
House Dems and conservatives vote against the Farm Bill and if Bohner really wants it he will go along and add unemployment comp extension to it to get the Dems votes, to get one passed.