GOP bill would reduce unemployment benefits

A bill offered by Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.) would gradually reduce unemployment insurance payments each week if Congress passes an extension.

 

The bill, H.R. 4431, would reduce individuals' unemployment insurance disbursements by five percent of the previous week's payment. It would only affect future federal unemployment insurance extensions. State-run programs would not be impacted.

 

Bentivolio noted that his office has received “numerous letters” on the issue, and he said his proposal could appeal to conservatives.

 

“While some support a blanket extension of benefits, several employers have told me that they often hear from prospective employees that they want to start their job after their unemployment benefits run out,” Bentivolio said.

 

The Senate passed a five-month extension of jobless benefits on Monday. While the bill was backed by six Republicans in the Senate, House GOP leaders don’t plan on moving it through their chamber.  

 

House Democrats filed a discharge petition earlier this year to pressure Republicans to consider extending unemployment insurance, but there is little appetite among conservatives to do so.

 

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said Congress should instead consider proposals that create jobs and don’t add to the deficit.