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U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) (2nd L) speaks at a news conference about debt relief legislation with Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) (L), Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) (2nd R) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (R) at the U.S.
Washington Post:
House and Senate negotiators were putting the finishing touches Sunday on what would be the first successful budget accord since 2011, when the battle over a soaring national debt first paralyzed Washington.
According to The Post, the possible deal would set spending levels at just over $1 trillion for this fiscal year and next, levels which would be historically low but would nonetheless exceed the targets specified in 2011 Budget Control Act and would be just under $50 billion over the sequester spending levels for fiscal 2014.

The deal wouldn't be a "Grand Bargain," but it would avoid a government shutdown. However, significant questions remain, the most important of which is whether the deal would extend unemployment insurance for workers who are continuing to struggle to find jobs.

Last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called for a budget deal to include an unemployment insurance extension. Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray echoed Pelosi's request, but Republicans are resisting, saying the request:

“Literally came out of nowhere [...] and it is totally disingenuous of them to put this in play at this point,” one Republican familiar with the talks said. “They know the impact this will have on our side of the aisle, so I can only read this as a deliberate attempt to blow up any deal.”
But even if the legislation were to punt on unemployment insurance, Republicans may still torpedo any deal—of any sort:
Republican leaders may prove unable to rally support for the agreement. Boehner has a long history of overestimating his ability to deliver Republican votes. And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been notably unenthusiastic about repealing the sequester, which he has characterized as the most important prize of the GOP crusade to reduce government spending.

On the other hand, Republicans have also been unable to pass spending bills that include the sequester cuts.

In the end, at least some Republicans are going to threaten to block whatever deal is on the table—you can take that to the bank. But you can also be sure that in the end, even if there's another brief shutdown, Republicans will cave—there's no way they will want to endure the political circus of yet another extended shutdown. Democrats need to realize this, and insist on extending emergency unemployment benefits. As long as they are willing to fight for them, this is not a battle The Grinch can win.

:::

E-mail your Congress member: Don’t be a Scrooge, extend unemployment insurance

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 08:09 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  May the "Grand Bargain" rest in peace. (18+ / 0-)

    No Zombie bargains!

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 08:12:45 AM PST

  •  I'll also wait to see how the budget reductions (15+ / 0-)

    are distributed between "defense" and "human" spending.

    "You can never sink so low in life that you can't be a bad example for somebody." - my dad

    by briefer on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 08:18:11 AM PST

  •  Republican Party: "Merry Christmas... (14+ / 0-)

    ...now go away and starve to death."

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 08:20:55 AM PST

    •  If Dems push unemployment money now (7+ / 0-)

      Dems can also push unemployment extension as an issue for 2014.

      Especially if Republicans say no.

      Sounds to me like Pelosi is playing the long game.

      I know that here in NC the Republican legislature cut unemployment benefits, seemingly without realizing that they were mostly taking bread out of the mouths of the rural white voters who put them there in the first place.

      We have yet to see how that works out for them--eventually.

      Fox's Brian Kilmeade on Starbucks' decision to ban guns in stores: "Real simple - if you have a gun, go to Dunkin Donuts."

      by NCJan on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 08:33:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not to worry ... (6+ / 0-)
      Democrats: No Budget Deal Without Unemployment Insurance ...
      ABC News (blog)-Dec 5, 2013
      WASHINGTON, D.C. – The White House and its Democratic allies are ... Congress could be close to a budget deal before their holiday break, ...
      Hold that line, Democrats !

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 08:38:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Both Pelosi and Durbin (on This Week) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder

        said that the UE Benefit extension would not be a deal breaker.

        The video of the Durbin/Portman interview is available on the ABC website.

        IMO this is a "shiny object" moment, considering that the main objective of the Budget Committee Conference is replacing "the Sequester" cuts, with cuts to "mandatory spending" (entitlements).

        And if revenue is basically off-the-table except for a few "fees," what the heck is left, but entitlement cuts?

        And let's not forget, Leader Pelosi has made it plain that she does not consider further "means testing" Medicare to be a "cut."

        Her rationale is that Medicare benefits themselves are not reduced--premiums are raised--and that this would not be an entitlement cut.

        I suspect that many seniors would beg to differ.

        The syntax I've heard recently from one reporter is that this is a "Baby Grand Bargain," with entitlement reform around the edges.

        My question is:  What the heck does THAT mean, LOL?

        I'd say that this bill should be gone over with a fine tooth comb.

        I've heard it reported that the bill will be fast-tracked.

        And, that the portion of the Farm Bill with the SNAP cuts may be tacked onto a larger bill.  (Bear in mind, the Nation reports that Stabenow has agreed to an additional 8 Billion MORE in SNAP cuts.)

        My guess is that Medicare "means testing" will be expanded greatly (now at only 5% of Medicare-eligible seniors), a premium surcharge will be implemented on seniors with decent (low deductible and first-dollar) Medigap policies, and as to "Chained CPI"--not sure what's up.

        This "adjustment" to COLA was not included in the Social Security section of the Bowles-Simpson Catfood Commission proposal, "The Moment Of Truth."  After all, the Chained CPI pertains to COLA for ALL social transfer programs.

        It was in a "catch-all" section of the proposal--again because it was recommended that this new inflation measure be used to calculate all social transfer program benefits.

        I truly hope that I'm wrong on the Medicare cuts, and that Dem lawmakers back down on the Chained CPI.

        But I find it hard to believe that after five years of "melodrama" that the American People will get off scot-free.

        Especially since lawmakers have been so quiet--too quiet.

        Mollie

        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


        hiddennplainsight

        by musiccitymollie on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 09:28:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Be more circumspect, like Ebeneezer Scrooge... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim

      > starve to death

      ... before he was reformed (by aid of the three Chritmas ghosts), say instead: "decrease the surplus population".

  •  Still waiting to see.... (4+ / 0-)

    ... just how big a pension cut is being planned for fedeeral workers (speaking as someone who wants to retire in 2 years or so).

  •  I cannot stand looking at these clowns! (4+ / 0-)
    •  But at least they have one female horse (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GrindtheHills

      in the "Four Horsemen" photo-op. You'll have to wait till '15 for a darker skinned horse to be featured. Maybe a Latina/African-American mix with no shred of self decency but plenty of corporate sponsorship. That way, the country club trio won't have to draw a short straw.

      21st Century America: The distracted, superficial perception of a virtual reality. Gettov Milawn

      by geez53 on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 08:48:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •   Disingenuous? (4+ / 0-)

    “Literally came out of nowhere [...] and it is totally disingenuous of them to put this in play at this point,” one Republican familiar with the talks said. “They know the impact this will have on our side of the aisle, so I can only read this as a deliberate attempt to blow up any deal.”
    The Repbuplicans refusal to do anything not austere is mean and short-sighted, and well, stupid.

  •  Where do possible SNAP benefit cuts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crashing Vor, ColoTim

    fit into all this? Is that a separate, farm bill issue, or is it related to the budget bill legislatively (it's obviously related to it politically)?

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 08:26:22 AM PST

    •  'Pubs are idiots if they don't address (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude

      the milk price issue. A LOT of Americans drink a LOT of milk. Letting the price go to $8-10/gal. is going to hit people directly in their pockets.

      Not that Republicans and idiots are mutually exclusive groups...

      I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

      by Crashing Vor on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 08:50:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That "worry" comes up every few years (0+ / 0-)

        There's no chance in hell that milk will ever be that expensive for years to come, unless CPI skyrockets. They use the threat of milk prices doubling to cram an otherwise agribiz-friendly bill through.

        I'm much more worried that SNAP benefits will be further cut. Any Dem--or Repub for that matter--who signs off on that is an idiot.

        "Sacrifice" for the less well-off and austerity are horrible political moves.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 12:53:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Democrats are in the catbird seat (8+ / 0-)
    Republicans will cave—there's no way they will want to endure the political circus of yet another extended shutdown. Democrats need to realize this, and insist on extending emergency unemployment benefits. As long as they are willing to fight for them, this is not a battle The Grinch can win.
    Now if they will just realize that and not negotiate with themselves, they might just make something out of this. If they would drop the SNAP cuts, extend unemployment, and include some infrastructure spending, it would be a worthwhile budget.

    Filibuster reform, 2013 - woulda, coulda, shoulda.

    by bear83 on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 08:30:42 AM PST

    •  Indeed. The leverage they have is that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim, bear83, ratcityreprobate

      Boehner will not be able to get ANYTHING through with just GOP votes.  He NEEDS Pelosi and the Democrats to get something through.  Of course, he probably feels he needs a majority of his caucus, but, given how bad he is at counting, as long as the bulk of the Dems are voting Aye, all he needs are a few dozen Republicans who aren't stupid.
      (Uh, oh!)

      With the Decision Points Theater, the George W. Bush Presidential Library becomes the very first Presidential Library to feature a Fiction Section.

      by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 08:35:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As a person who will lose my EUC I keep hearing.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, librarisingnsf

    that it may be extended by "other means" outside the budget deal. I still haven't heard what those other means are.
    It turned 55 last week and lost my job of 33 yrs in October 2012. I worked a 5 month low paying seasonal job this past year when I could have stayed home and collected unemployment. I decided it would be the right thing to work.
    I was put back on EUC and had hoped it would get extended but knew it was up to congress. WOuld be nice to see them put up a fight.

    peace.

    "Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here." Marianne Williamson

    by Canadian Green Card Alien on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 08:48:24 AM PST

  •  Michigan's legislature voted to limit unemployment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    librarisingnsf

    benefits to 20 weeks, down from 26.  If the fed level Dems hold the line to get an extension it will help Dems in MI running next year; the contrast will be ever so vivid.  The GOP legislature here doesn't care for or heed any voters who lack lobbyists or six-figure incomes.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 08:50:49 AM PST

    •  MI change in the UE benefit was allowed due (0+ / 0-)

      federal legislation passed in 2012 which was INTENDED to allow states to par back Extended UE benefits.

      I've had better links, but they are on another computer.

      Here's a short blurb about the federal legislation:

      Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act

      Emergency Extension of Unemployment Compensation Details

      Beginning June 1, 2012, extended benefits will be reduced to 79 weeks, and on September 1, 2012 it will be reduced to 73 weeks. Again, the amount of weeks of compensation the applicant will be eligible for is dependent on the rate of in your State. No changes have been made to State benefits of your initial 26 weeks.

      Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act

      Unemployed individuals are still entitled to 20 Weeks of extra benefits through the EB Program, which is also determined by each state's rate. Below is a detailed explanation of these tier changes taking place in 2012.

      Tier Structure: UNTIL MAY OF 2012

          Tier 1: 20 weeks
          Tier 2: 14 weeks
          Tier 3: 13 weeks
          Tier 4: 6 weeks (when your State is 8.5% or higher)

          (If you're losing benefits, you are entitled to 16 weeks of Emergency Compensation)

      TIERS UNTIL AUGUST OF 2012

          Tier 1: 20 weeks
          Tier 2: 14 weeks (IF your State's rate is above 6%)
          Tier 3: 13 weeks (IF your State's rate above 7%)

      FROM SEPTEMBER '12 TO DECEMBER '12

          Tier 1: 14 weeks
          Tier 2: 14 weeks (IF your State's rate is above 6%)
          Tier 3: 9 weeks (IF your State's rate is above 7%)
          Tier 4: 10 weeks (IF your State's rate is above 9%)

      Receiving Extended Unemployment Compensation

      Here is an overview of the maximum amount of benefits (depending State-by-State):

          FROM MARCH TO MAY: 99 WEEKS
          FROM JUNE TO AUGUST: 79 WEEKS
          FROM SEPTEMBER TO DECEMBER: 99 WEEKS

      Mollie

      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


      hiddennplainsight

      by musiccitymollie on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 11:36:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If any prediction be worth anything I'll offer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    this:  After closed door talks with the Koch Brothers, and as many other big money donors as can be gathered, or met with over time, the Teabaghead/Republicans will, once again, do their dead level best to shut down the government, with Bawling Baby Boehner insisting that EVERYONE MUST do things HIS way, OR ELSE.

    And, further, Boehner will make at least one more attempt to "repeal", or "defund", the ACA by way of a House Bill, as well as demanding this as part of the budget "compromise"; a kind of two-pronged attack to force the Democratic Party to yield to his idiotology.

    And, while I really would like to be WRONG here, that's what I do believe will happen.

  •  I can't believe this is news. (0+ / 0-)

    Congress passing budget bills should be about as newsworthy as the sun rising.

    But here we find ourselves, with even the most basic operations standing out as noteworthy.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 08:54:25 AM PST

  •  Maybe if you passed a few jobs bills (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    librarisingnsf, asm121

    the need for extended unemployment compensation would start to go away.

    But that would be too logical -- and help the wrong people, so I won't expect anything.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 08:57:26 AM PST

  •  I fear the Dems (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    will cave, listen to the Faux Dem. Durbin.   At least they haven't agreed to cut SS and Medicare.  But what do we really know what with this deal happening in secret.  Here I thought we lived in a Democratic/Republic, silly me.

  •  Not extending unemployment insurance (0+ / 0-)

    sounds like the real "war on Christmas."  Maybe somebody should tell Sarah Palin?

    No, I'm not volunteering.

    The most violent element in society is ignorance.

    by Mr MadAsHell on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 09:03:30 AM PST

  •  The Republicans have pretty much already won (0+ / 0-)

    seeing as how Ryan's original budget was $1,095 trillion.

  •  About Extending Unemployment Benefits (0+ / 0-)
    Last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called for a budget deal to include an unemployment insurance extension. Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray echoed Pelosi's request, but Republicans are resisting
    Not only are Republicans resisting but the White House already capitulated.

    December 5, 2013:

    Pelosi: No jobless aid means no deal

    December 6, 2013:

    White House: Obama won't insist on jobless aid in budget deal

  •  Kabuki (0+ / 0-)

    This is all a big kabuki dance for when we end up with a clean CR at $967 billion because neither side has any interest in things that are important to the other side.

    They won't be able to agree on cuts, the Republicans are never going to agree to the UI extension, and as a fallback they will just do another CR.

    Republican leaders and the Tea Party nuts have no interest in a govt shutdown this time around, so I think it will be rather uneventful outside of the moaning and groaning everyone will make about the spending level.

    •  I "wish" that I thought that would be the case, (0+ / 0-)

      but they are VERY quiet.

      This "deal" will almost certainly (IMHO) have cuts as I've outlined above.

      They are making the "public discussion" about UE benefits which affect approximately 1.2-1.3 million people (NOT intended to trivialize the disastrous impact on these people), because they don't dare mention the "real agenda."

      It's "Kabuki" alright--but frankly, I don't think it is in the way that you read it.  A CR would likely mean no cuts to the social safety net.  So I hope you're correct.

      However, "my gut" tells me that the Dems would have to be fearful that this MIGHT BE their last chance to strike a deal (if they lose more seats in the House and/or the Senate in 2014).

      I can't see them taking a pass on a "Baby" or "Grand" Bargain.

      The know the term "Grand Bargain" is toxic, which IMO is the ONLY reason that this "term" has been avoided by both lawmakers and the MSM.

      That, and the fact that they don't want any push back as lawmakers "negotiate" the deal.

      We'll know soon . . .

      Mollie

      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


      hiddennplainsight

      by musiccitymollie on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 11:44:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Soaring" national debt, eh? (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans do not care about the debt:
    see this chart

    House and Senate negotiators were putting the finishing touches Sunday on what would be the first successful budget accord since 2011, when the battle over a black President first paralyzed Washington.
    ftfy
  •  why does my skeptical self not believe the GOP (0+ / 0-)

    they claim the unemplyment extension was " last minute, and the Dems know how hard this will be to pass" blah blah blah....?? Now why would I NOT believe them?

  •  I dont particularly believe the Dems either.. (0+ / 0-)

    The lukewarm endorsement by the Democrat's leaders speaks volumes, as does the fact that this is all being negotiated in private.  The Dems can say we tried, when in fact they never really did, and they can make the GOP look bad in 2014, when in fact, they are all just as guilty.  If they would all focus on jobs and the economy, the unemployment picture and the need for extending benefits would greatly lessen.

    Instead, they can all pander to their bases without actually doing anything.  It's always the other guys fault.  Perhaps we should start the ball rolling in terms of dumping out more incumbents from both parties, especially those that have sat around for over 25 years on the government payroll.

    The newer members seem more interested in legislating, and not grandstanding.  

  •  Why we are at it... (0+ / 0-)

    Why not ask for a min. wage increase too?

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