A vote may come today in the U.S. Senate to again extend unemployment benefits, but it won’t pass with the help of Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. The Republican says he favors extending the benefits, but he’s strongly against the Democrats’ plan to chalk up the cost to the national debt.
“We’re responding to the grassroots concern from America that the legacy of debt that we’re leaving to our children and grandchildren just cannot be tolerated any more,” Grassley says. “If Congress wants to spend money in different areas, we ought to pay for it.” Grassley says there should be “absolutely no criticism of Republicans” because they’ve tried four times in recent weeks to get the jobless benefits extended without a lapse, as long as there was a way to pay for them. He says all four attempts were rejected.
“This effort by the president to blame Republicans for holding up unemployment compensation is a smokescreen,” Grassley says. “They’re not concerned about the deficit and we are.” A new senator will be sworn in today to represent West Virginia, a Democrat, which should give that party the needed 60 votes to break the Republican filibuster on unemployment.