OpenCongress Blog

Blog Feed Comments Feed More RSS Feeds

99er Advocates Meet With Republican Leadership

April 14, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

Reps. Barbara Lee [D, CA-9] and Bobby Scott [D, VA-3] — the long-term unemployed’s lead advocates in Congress — managed to sit down with the Republican House leadership this morning to talk about their bill, H.R.589, to extend unemployment benefits for people who have been out of work for two years or longer. Just getting a meeting with the Republicans who control the legislative flow in the House is a big step forward for Lee and Scott. But, unfortunately, it does not sound like a lot of progress was made during the discussion.

As they left the meeting, reporters caught Lee and Scott in the hall and peppered them with questions. The basic gist appears to be that Boehner and Cantor understand the seriousness of the problem, but that there is still a disagreement about whether or not the costs of an extension for the long-term unemployed should be offset with new revenues or spending cuts. According to Lee, they did not discuss offset options at the meeting because she and Rep. Scott would prefer to finance the bill with deficit spending. “We didn’t talk about [specific offsets] because we still maintain it’s emergency spending,” she told reporters after the meeting.

That’s a losing position. Similar, “emergency” legislation failed to pass last session when the Democrats had overwhelming majorities in both chambers because there was not enough support for the cost without offsets. Now that the Republicans control the House and have enough votes in the Senate to stop anything they want, getting this through as emergency spending is even less likely. Even the Obama Administration and the Congressional Black Caucus leadership consider the costs of the bill “prohibitive.”

The only serious option at this point is to find an offset. In January, a spokesperson for Speaker John Boehner [R, OH-8] said in reference to the long-term unemployment benefits bill that he “supports U.I. extensions if they are paid for.” Now, it’s possible that Boehner is confusing the long-term extension bill with extending the existing tiers of benefits, and it’s also possible that an offset that is acceptable to both Democrats and Republicans is non existent, but all signs point to this avenue as the only one worth pursuing. Hopefully Lee and Scott will get another meeting with the leadership, and maybe next time they’ll have a more detailed talk about what it would take to actual get this done.

Video of Lee and Scott after the meeting can be viewed here.

Like this post? Stay in touch by following us on Twitter, joining us on Facebook, or by Subscribing with RSS.
 

Comments

  • brute329 04/14/2011 2:03pm

    They had plenty of time to look for spending cuts to offdet this extension. They are so stupid that they think we are buying this publicity stunt to give them fame. They arent any smarter then the brother of theirs in the big white house..

  • brute329 04/14/2011 2:04pm

    Remember this day next time you want to vote for one of these…

  • bugsy166 04/14/2011 5:38pm

    Here we go again.
    Barbara Lee knows that to pretend to be helping the 99ers is the only way to get her name out there.
    The problem is that deep down inside she does give a rats ass whether or not the bill pass.
    She only want to be seen carrying the football and be cheered for, even though she knows she could never make it past the GOAL LINE.
    LIKE THE REST OF THESE POLITICIANS ITS JUST ABOUT PUBLICITY STUNTS!

  • bugsy166 04/14/2011 5:39pm

    Here we go again.
    Barbara Lee knows that to pretend to be helping the 99ers is the only way to get her name out there.
    The problem is that deep down inside she DOES NOT give a rats ass whether or not the bill pass.
    She only want to be seen carrying the football and be cheered for, even though she knows she could never make it past the GOAL LINE.
    LIKE THE REST OF THESE POLITICIANS ITS JUST ABOUT PUBLICITY STUNTS!

  • Abaratarrr 04/14/2011 7:02pm

    wow talk about a couple of lying bags of turd, the schedule a meeting to discuss away to pay for 589 saying that they are open to paying for the bill with offsets, then at the meeting they refuse to discus ways to pay for 589.
    Why would the leadership ever waste time to meet with these lyers again being that they scheduled the meeting to discus a funding source yet these two lying bags of turd came to the meeting without offering anyway to pay for the bill.

    Thanks for nothing barbara

  • Comm_reply
    Abaratarrr 04/14/2011 7:12pm

    The Lee-Scott proposal received zero initial support from Republicans because it would add roughly $16 billion to the federal budget deficit. Lee and Scott later announced they’d be open to finding budget cuts to offset the cost of the benefits,

  • Spam Comment

  • Comm_reply
    Abaratarrr 04/14/2011 7:17pm

    opencongress, your platform is still not allowing for a source to be pasted into a comment, if you paste something the only thing that shows up is the first thing you paste you can’t add quotation marks or add the source website of any typed comments, they all disappear when you hit the Post Comment button.

  • DeborahJBrown 04/15/2011 4:48am

    At this point there is no reason for anyone not to realize that THE ONLY WAY this will ever happen is if they can demonstrate how it will be funded. Anything less than that can’t be taken seriously. Their effort meeting with House representatives to discuss this without a offsetting source of funding appears to be less than sincere. I’m so tired of political games. And to think we pay politicians to play these games of strategy! This is like paying people to play a real-life rendition of the board games of their youth, gameslike Monopoly. If the money’s not there…they’re not buying, everyone knows that is the name of the game.

  • 99erCA 04/15/2011 7:39am

    Everyone knows that this is a dog and pony show, when we did need it, where were they then. Worthless attempt for votes…..Worst congress and senate ever, you should be ashamed democrats and republicans. I heard Donald trump is running at least he knows what’s going on in the real world. These people are actors who go into politics for the special interest money…..cough I meant fundraising money

  • ducttape2 04/17/2011 6:31am

    Cheap show for votes.

  • mouseissue 04/19/2011 2:31pm

    Yep!… Just more of the same old sh_t!
    These stupid clowns are so typical.

    My UI benefit Tier 4 (99 weeks) was exhausted in March 2010.
    Our family has been watching our life’s savings as it continues to dwindle.
    If I don’t get another job soon, we may be homeless before the year’s out!!!

    The ONLY way any of us 99ers will see more benefits is if someone comes to them with a way to pay for the benefits. Lee and Scott obviously did not want to do this.

    Those damn liberals Lee and Scott don’t really want to help folks like me.
    They just want to spend this country into oblivion so that our economy will colapse. Then they can rebuild the U.S.A. into their Socialist “utopia”.

  • cox55 04/24/2011 6:27pm

    Shame, Shame, Shame, on congress the 99ers are to old to work,and to young for social security.and yet congress has the right to choose who gets unemployment and who doesn’t go figure we have worked for the last 40 years paid in social security,paid our taxes put our kids thru school to end up jobless in our old age and no fault of ours but yet the younger generation today can draw the social security we paid in: because they are recovering Drug addicts,or Bi-Polar go figure but people over 50 cant get unemployment in an emergency or draw social security because we have not worked long enough at this rate there will not be any for us to draw when we reach the good ole age. We are truly a sad place to live

  • Spam Comment

Due to the archiving of this blog, comment posting has been disabled.