By Bridget Johnson - 04/04/10 01:43 PM EDT
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that it will be necessary to extend unemployment benefits, but that's not a long-term solution.
Unemployment benefits are set to expire for 200,000 people Monday as Congress recessed without a deal on the extension of benefits. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) wanted to ensure a cost-offset solution that wouldn't add to the federal deficit.
"But that's not a job stimulator ... we will do those things to take care of the families that are suffering right now," he said.
Kyl slammed the stimulus package as having spent hundreds of millions of dollars "to very little effect," and added that Friday's improved job numbers were heavily reliant on Census jobs instead of the private-sector growth that would lead to long-term economic recovery.
Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) said "the stimulus may not have been all that we have hoped for," but beat going into a depression, and shifted quickly to the controversy of Chinese currency manipulation.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Saturday delayed the release of a report on foreign currency manipulation as some senators are calling for the administration to pressure China to revalue the yuan to help U.S. manufacturers.
"I'd like to see our system on a level playing field before we start talking about federal subsidies," Specter said. "I'm not too happy about a delay."
Specter expressed concern that concessions could be made on currency to get China on board with Iran sanctions.
"We have a real problem with the Chinese," Specter said. "They're very shrewd. They take our jobs, they take our money, and then they lend it back to us."
Kyl said bipartisanship was "not at all" out of the question in moving forward on issues such as the economy, but noted that Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) pulled back from talks with the GOP in pushing forward his regulatory reform bill.
"We all agree we need to do some things," Kyl said. "If that means you lose some votes on the far left and you lose some votes on the right, then so be it."
But Specter said only Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) had stepped foward to negotiate with Dodd, and said Republicans in general were not willing to cooperate.