Dem bill pays for UI with jet tax, lower farm payments

Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) proposed legislation on Tuesday that would extend emergency unemployment benefits through March, and pay for it by raising taxes on corporate jet owners and reducing farm subsidies.

Cicilline's bill, H.R. 3813, is the first formal proposal from House Democrats that seeks to find a compromise between Democratic demands for extended emergency unemployment benefits, and Republican demands that these benefits must be paid for. The three month extension is thought to cost around $6.4 billion.

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But it's still unclear whether the two sides can find any agreement on an extension. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday he is open to finding a way to pay for the extension, but on Wednesday he walked that back by saying these are emergency benefits that should not require a pay-for.

The Obama administration has also said it opposes spending cuts or other ways to pay for the extension.

In contrast, House GOP leaders say it should not only be paid for, but that the bill should also include proposals aimed at helping people find work.

While Cicilline's bill makes an attempt at compromise, it's not clear it will gain support from Republicans, many of whom are likely to support spending cuts instead of new taxes. However, Cicilline says each of his pay-fore have been supported by the GOP before.

His first pay-for would change the depreciation schedule used for corporate jets. Under current law, corporate jets can be depreciated over five years, but the bill would require a seven-year depreciate schedule, the same used for commercial jets.

His second would limit the total amount of subsidies for federal crop insurance to $40,000 per farmer, and end subsidies for people with an adjusted gross income above $250,000 per year.