Boehner Rejects Senate Unemployment Extension Bill (Updated)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted March 19, 2014 at 1:21pm

Updated 4:41 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner signaled Wednesday the House will not take up a bipartisan Senate bill to temporarily extend emergency unemployment insurance benefits.  

The Ohio Republican posted a statement on his blog , reacting to a letter from the National Association of State Workforce Agencies warning the Senate unemployment bill would take most states one to three months to implement and create new bureaucratic requirements that would be “virtually impossible” to enforce retroactively.  

“We have always said that we’re willing to look at extending emergency unemployment benefits again, if Washington Democrats can come up with a plan that is fiscally-responsible, and gets to the root of the problem by helping to create more private-sector jobs.  There is no evidence that the bill being rammed through the Senate by Leader Reid meets that test, and according to these state directors, the bill is also simply unworkable,” Boehner said in the statement.  

After Boehner’s statement, the top Republican author of the Senate bill slammed what he called the latest “excuse” to deny benefits and a spokesman for Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., urged Boehner to come to the table to deal with his concerns.  

Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., dismissed Boehner’s concerns.  

“Obviously, the administration would have to issue guidance to the states as has been done in past extensions,” Hammill said. “Using these relatively minor concerns to continue to justify leaving more than two million people out in the cold further illustrates that unemployed Americans are invisible to House Republicans.”