House Republicans Give Unemployed the Finger

Almost 100,000 unemployed New Yorkers whose unemployment benefits are expiring will have a very not-so-merry Christmas this year now that House Republicans have killed a proposed $56 billion benefits extension, the Daily News says.

The DN pins the blame on Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, whose deciding vote "torpedoed" the proposed extension Tuesday. The current round of long-term unemployment benefits expired Wednesday morning after Congressmen failed to strike a deal to fund more benefits by reallocating federal money.

According to the News, Brown proposed his own bill to extend unemployment benefits on the condition that it wouldn't add to the federal deficit. "That didn't fly with Democrats, who said there was no time to figure out where else the money would come from," the DN said.

Also at issue are a set of Bush-era tax cuts for people who earn more than $250,000. Republicans want to renew the tax cuts, which expire on December 31, but Democrats and the Obama administration argue that letting the Bush tax cuts expire will pare down the deficit, making the extended benefits bill an easier pill to swallow.

[shernandez@villagevoice.com]


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