Morning Action: Senate’s Unemployment Benefits Extension to Face Opposition in House
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE. The Senate proposal for a five-month extension of unemployment benefits will face strong opposition from conservatives in the House where lawmakers say the measure will do nothing to spur job creation and question the length of the program (sub. req’d):
House conservatives pushed backed hard, arguing the package would do little to spur growth or curb unemployment. Critics said the original emergency unemployment compensation program was enacted in a 2008 supplemental spending measure (PL 110-252) as a temporary response to the financial meltdown, and should allowed to expire, just as seven other similar programs have expired since 1958.
“I’m not for it. The other extensions didn’t work and now this will be the magic bullet?” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) 94%, an RSC leader.
The Senate package includes several measures aimed at enticing conservatives, including a proposal by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), to deny jobless aid to individuals with incomes of $1 million or more. It also would require recipients of long-term aid to receive job training and referrals to re-employment services.
BUDGET. House Republican leaders are whipping members on whether they support bringing a fiscal 2015 budget resolution to the floor (sub. req’d):
The plan faces potential opposition from conservatives because it is expected to reflect the increased discretionary spending caps in the budget deal negotiated by House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) N/A%, and Senate Budget Chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) 7%. Sixty-two Republicans voted against the budget agreement (PL 113-67), and most would have to be won back to get a budget resolution passed,since few if any Democrats are likely to support it.
Ryan is writing the new budget plan to balance in 10 years, as he did last, but that will be a heavier lift this year because of lower revenue projections resulting from slower economic growth that the Congressional Budget Office issued last month.
IMMIGRATION. After years of President Obama’s well-documented decisions not to uphold immigration law, the Obama administration now has a plan to explore limiting deportations of illegal immigrants. Pro-amnesty senators somehow think this should prod Republicans to work on immigration reform (sub. req’d):
New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) 10% said that Republicans can either act or watch the administration continue to take executive action.
“It’s crystal clear where the issue of immigration reform is headed, and Republicans have only two choices to make,” Schumer said in a written statement. “They can either help pass comprehensive reform … or they can sit idly by and watch the President greatly curtail deportations while 11 million continue to live in limbo here in America.”
Several House Republicans were noncommittal about the White House’s announcement Thursday that President Barack Obama will have Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnsoninventory the department’s current deportation practices with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The goal is to find ways to conduct enforcement “more humanely within the confines of the law,” with options including cutting down deportations that divide families.
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) 76% explained how many Republicans actually feel about the issue:
“If the threat is you can either put it in the law or the president is going to act like he can write the law, I’d rather have the president violating the constitution and making up the law as he does, because we can call him on that,” King said Friday. “We can eventually get some of that genie back in the bottle through litigation, through the next president. But if they’re able to write amnesty into law, it’s irreversible and irrevocable.”