By Russell Berman - 03/25/14 11:28 AM EDT
A Senate proposal to extend long-term unemployment benefits is not “workable,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday in the latest indication that the plan stands little chance of passing the House.
The bipartisan Senate plan would extend jobless benefits through May and make them retroactive to late December, when they lapsed because Congress took no action.
He referenced a letter his office sent out from state unemployment directors voicing concern the Senate proposal would be difficult to implement.
“The state directors are saying, ‘we don’t know who went back to work,’ ” Boehner said. “We don’t know who’s still out there. So we have to send checks to everybody. I don’t think taxpayers expect us to do that, so I don’t see how it’s workable.”
Democratic leaders and Labor Secretary Tom Perez have said the Senate bill can be implemented without significant delays.
House Republicans have not put forward a plan of their own to extend the benefits, and the Speaker indicated they don’t intend to.