The U.S. Senate is still considering a proposal to extend Unemployment benefits another three months. Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) supports the extension, but is worried there may not be enough votes to pass it. “There are some strong concerns that we may not have enough Republican support to pass this emergency measure, and that gives me great concern because I know how desperately needed it is.”
Baldwin says the package being debated would extend benefits three months, largely because of Republican opposition. The Madison Democrat says she believes the Unemployment extension needs to be longer. “I frankly think that this is probably going to be needed for a longer period of time, depending on the state and part of the country, and how bad unemployment is, but we know that there are three job seekers for every job opening.”
Baldwin’s Republican counterparts and a handful of Democrats are wondering where the money is going to come from to pay for the extension, with most Republicans calling for budget cuts to generate the money.
Baldwin says an extension needs to be passed without arguing about how it gets paid for. “Most of the time, there have not been, you know, other cuts made to pay for it, and that’s because it is regarded as an emergency. It does need to happen with some speed, and the debate over the pay for it tends to slow this down and create a lot of pain and suffering.”
A Senate vote late Wednesday failed to pass the Unemployment extension, as Republicans insisted on cutting budget items to offset the cost. The matter may come back up again in the Senate this week.