Republicans Derail Unemployment Extension Proposal
Washington, DC (Feb 9) – In Congressional news today, Democrats introduced an unemployment extension package, which was immediately shot down by Republican counterparts as the February extension deadline nears for the nations unemployed. The alternative unemployment extension plan would reduce the number of payable weeks from 99 to 93 weeks.
Currently, unemployment extensions will exhaust for millions of long-term unemployed Americans at the end of February and once again, the unemployed are the focus of a congressional battle, which has pitted the nation’s hardest hit workers against, staunch Republican resistance.
The payroll tax cut extended at the end of last year also, faces its demise ending a much-needed tax break for the fortunate working Americans struggling to get by on reduced wages. The payroll tax cut puts an estimated $1,000 per year into the pockets of working families. The Democrats are asking for not only an extension but also, an increase in to just over 3 percent in the existing plan with hopes of further stimulating the economy, which appears to be on the rebound.
Both plans are sticky issues to Congressional Republicans who refuse to budge on tax increases to Americans earning in access of $1 million annually to help reduce the deficit as well as, offset the costs of Congressional Democrat proposals. Currently, the Republicans stance has been the reducing taxes on the nations wealthiest will stimulate the economy via jobs growth, and increased productivity, to date their plan seems to be failing the nation.
Today’s Democratic proposal would allow the long-term unemployed to receive a maximum of 93 weeks of combined regular and federally funded extended benefits. In return, the GOP answered back with a proposal of 59 weeks.
Further Republican demands included, excluding those that never graduated high school, or received their GED from applying for, and receiving unemployment benefits. In addition, Republicans have demanded drug testing of all unemployment recipients at approximately, $85 per test to be paid by taxpayers.
In response to Republican demands for drug testing those less fortunate, activists have been pushing for immediate drug testing of all congressional members, an act the Republicans refuse to address.
In December 2010, the Republicans utilized these same delay tactics to secure an extension of Bush era tax cuts, which, many economists believe, were in part, the cause and effect of today’s economic struggles combine with, unchecked spending on two wars over the past 10 years.
Currently, the Democrats have not offered up a plan to offset the costs of their proposals other than, restructuring the tax codes reducing many of the tax loopholes wealthy American utilize to reduce their taxes to percentage rates far lower than average Americans families currently pay.