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Payroll tax, jobless benefits negotiations on Capitol Hill off to slow start as deadline nears

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Post by Guest Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:11 pm

Talks Wednesday revealed a continuing impasse over whether to keep the maximum jobless benefit at 99 weeks in states with the highest unemployment rates. Lower jobless rates already mean that the maximum benefit is dropping to 79 weeks. Republicans are seeking to cut 20 additional weeks of benefits from the program, effectively making the maximum benefit 59 weeks.

Democrats oppose the move and signaled they'll adopt a hard line as well against GOP proposals to require jobless people to enroll in GED classes to qualify for benefits or permit states to require them to pass drug tests. Democrats said that many jobless people are older workers with established skills and that there are long waiting lists for GED classes.

On drug testing for jobless benefits, Republicans said it's simply unfair for taxpayers to provide money to people with drug habits — and who would fail the drug tests required for many new hires.

"It is time to stop subsidizing drug use through federal benefits," said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas.

Democrats said most states disqualify people fired for drug use from obtaining jobless benefits anyway.
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/payroll-tax-negotiations-off-slow-202141144.html

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Post by Guest Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:22 pm

With just 28 days left before the current two-month Band-Aid version expires, the sticking point for lawmakers is how to pay for an extension -- the very same reason that tripped them up when they tried to negotiate a full-year extension in December.

Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, told the House Budget Committee on Wednesday that he estimates that extending the payroll tax cut for another 10 months will cost $100 billion.

The measure is expected to be part of a larger package that also extends emergency federal unemployment benefits and prevents a scheduled pay cut to Medicare physicians.
http://money.cnn.com/2012/02/02/news/economy/payroll_tax_cut/index.htm?section=money_mostpopular

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Payroll tax, jobless benefits negotiations on Capitol Hill off to slow start as deadline nears Empty Re: Payroll tax, jobless benefits negotiations on Capitol Hill off to slow start as deadline nears

Post by JoanB Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:37 pm

Just freakin' once in my life, I'd love to hear them ask, "How are we going to pay for this war?" before they have one. How come they only ask that question when it's something that does good?
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