Update: GOP proposes amendments for housing tax credit and Dems Johanns and Nelson propose amendment banning ACORN from any federal funding; Unemployment Update: Extension still stalled in the Senate…

10/23 See Update http://moderateinthemiddle.wordpress.com/2009/10/23/unemployment-update-senate-cloture-vote-on-unemployment-extension-next-tuesday/

Update: The Hill:

(…)Since early October, Senate Democrats have been looking to quickly push through a bill that would extend jobless benefits by at least 14 weeks. But Republicans have blocked the immediate consideration of the bill on the Senate floor, objecting because the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has yet to score it and because a voice vote would preclude GOP amendments….

…Republicans said that a quick vote on the bill would have precluded Isakson’s amendment and others that have bipartisan support. Nebraska Sens. Mike Johanns (R) and Ben Nelson (D) are pushing for an amendment banning all federal funding for ACORN.

Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) dismissed Democratic suggestions that Republicans are the “party of no” for holding back support on the bill.

“I think when all is said and done, you’ll see a lot of support for unemployment extension. That’s not the issue,” Kyl told reporters. “The question is how you pay for it. The question is what is the score for it, and whether some other amendments will be allowed.”

Democrats plan to find the extra revenue by extending by 18 months the federal employment surtax, paid by employers and set to expire at the end of the year. The CBO expects the extension of jobless benefits to cost approximately $2.4 billion, according to a Democratic aide.

GOP senators, hoping to avoid a tax extension, are planning amendments that would pay for the prolonged jobless benefits by using bailout or stimulus money, according to a Senate Republican aide.

The Indpendent reports an E Verify amendment is also coming to the floor:

(…)The stalling of legislation to expand unemployment insurance (UI) has little to do with the benefit itself. First, there’s a push to attach an extended homebuyer tax credit to the bill — something the Obama administration is wary of.

But also there’s this: Republicans are hoping to attach a number of amendments related to ACORN and immigration — provisions that have delayed floor action on the UI bill indefinitely, according to the offices of both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

The agreement ends after that.

The Republican amendments include at least two provisions related to ACORN; one related to the E-Verify program; one to pay for the UI benefits with unspent stimulus money; and one providing tax relief….

fiddling-while-rome-burns

Update: Courtesy of James McConnell at the Chicago Economic Policy Examiner:

Democratic politicians will hold a press conference Tuesday to blast Republican politicians for holding up legislation to extend unemployment benefits another 14 weeks for the nation’s out of work citizens. Elected representatives in both houses of Congress have agreed on the details of a bill and apparently have the votes to pass it, but Republicans blocked passage by unanimous consent, and continue to offer what Democrats characterize as unrelated amendments…

(more…)

October 20, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Finance, Foreclosures, Labor Department, Obama Administration, Politics, Unemployment Statistics. 4 comments.

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