Senate Democrats introduced a bill Monday evening that would reauthorize programs that extend unemployment aid for a full year, setting up a symbolic showdown on jobless benefits one day before they are set to expire.
“Unemployment benefits are the only lifeline many workers in Montana and across the nation have left in this tough economy,” said Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who introduced the bill. “These benefits help millions of Americans put food on the table and roofs over their heads — pumping money into our economy and helping to create jobs. Continuing the program for a year will provide the certainty our economy and these Americans looking for work need.”
The cost of the legislation is not “offset” with spending cuts, meaning it likely faces insurmountable opposition from Republicans and conservative Democrats opposed to deficit spending. Republicans may offer a reauthorization that is “paid for” with spending cuts, though Democrats are unlikely to support such a measure, having dug in on the historical record of deficit spending to cover such emergency measures.