New Plan To Extend Unemployment Aid…..So Where Is All Of This Money Coming From?

Posted By on March 1, 2010

Senate Democrats Unveil New Plan to Extend Unemployment Aid

By Brian Faler

March 1 (Bloomberg) — Senate Democrats unveiled a $150 billion plan to reinstate unemployment benefits that expired yesterday as part of lawmakers’ second major effort this year to boost the economy.

The bill would spend $81 billion to extend unemployment benefits, including so-called Cobra subsidies to help the jobless buy health insurance, for the rest of this year. It also would send $25 billion to states to help prevent layoffs.

Extended jobless benefits for thousands of Americans expired yesterday after Senator Jim Bunning, a Kentucky Republican, blocked a one-month continuation designed to keep unemployment checks from being interrupted while lawmakers debate the legislation announced today. He contended Congress should pay for the $10 billion cost instead of adding it to the budget deficit.

Today’s measure includes provisions unrelated to job creation, including a $7 billion plan to prevent for seven months a 21 percent scheduled cut in Medicare reimbursements to doctors. The bill also would extend a group of tax cuts that expired last year.

Last month, the Senate approved a $15 billion jobs bill that would offer companies a payroll tax break for hiring workers who have been out of work for at least 60 days.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, said today lawmakers in his chamber hope to pass the Senate plan this week. House Democrats earlier had complained that the measure included too many tax cuts, gave too much highway spending to too few states and violated their anti-deficit pay- as-you-go rules.

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