Jan. 9, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement urging Senate Republicans to block cloture on a $6.4 billion three-month extension of unemployment benefits:
“It has been six years now of long-term unemployment benefit extensions, up to 99 weeks, then up to 73 weeks. In some instances individuals need only work a couple quarters to qualify for benefits, receiving far more than they ever paid into the system. Is that fair? That makes these long-term unemployment benefits extensions not any sort of insurance, but a debt-creating welfare program.
“It shouldn’t be renewed at all, since it is only treating the symptoms of what ails the economy. Instead, the Senate should be working at undoing the policies that are really holding the economy back and preventing people from finding work.
“That said, if it is renewed, it better be paid for. And not with spending cuts that occur years from now, but with cuts that occur this fiscal year. If the Senate wants to increase spending on extended unemployment benefits by $6.4 billion in 2014, then members should find $6.4 billion of spending cuts in this fiscal year. Anything less will be a fiscally irresponsible failure that adds to the debt and will do nothing to help people get back to work.”
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