Minnick, Simpson oppose extending unemployment benefits again

Votes from Idaho Reps. Walt Minnick and Mike Simpson helped defeat an extension of unemployment benefits in the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday. The plan would have extended benefits through February and cost $12 billion.

Extended federal unemployment benefits, which can last up to 99 weeks for some Americans without jobs, are set to expire at the end of this month. Such benefits expired at the end of May, which affected 10,000 unemployed Idahoans receiving weekly benefits.  However, the benefits were extended from May to their current expiration date, which is Nov. 30.

House Democrats tried to extend benefits through a suspension vote, which required a two-thirds majority to pass. The effort failed, with less than 60 percent of House members supporting the plan. Minnick was one of 11 Democrats who joined Simpson and 141 other Republicans in opposing the extension.

“Today’s vote to extend unemployment insurance through February 2011 was nothing more than political posturing on the part of the outgoing Democrat majority,” Simpson said in a news release Thursday. “The bill is unpaid for and would have added $12 billion directly to the national debt while vast reserves of stimulus money still sits unused. By bringing the bill under a rule that prohibits debate or amendments and requires a 2/3 vote for passage, the Democrats knew it would not pass.”

Minnick and Simpson voted against a similar measure in July. Regarding that vote, Minnick told IdahoReporter.com that he opposed the plan because it would increase the federal deficit.

The U.S. Senate is considering a similar plan to extend jobless benefits during the lame duck session. Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch have opposed such measures in the past.

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8 thoughts on “Minnick, Simpson oppose extending unemployment benefits again

  1. B Adler says:

    While I voted for Labrador, I’ve got to give Congressman Minnick credit for sticking with his fiscally conservative voting record, even after the election results. Seems like Walt is really a man of his word.

  2. fortboise says:

    No increasing the debt! I guess we can count on Reps. Simpson and Minnick to vote against any extension of the Bush tax cuts, then.

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  5. Bubblehead says:

    A very principled vote by Rep. Minnick, considering he might need unemployment benefits in a few weeks.

  6. mary s says:

    I hope that Minnick and Simpson realize it not just Idaho is subject to the effects of this vote. I hope that they are proud to put people out on the streets across the country for the holidays.

    Of the unemployed workers in California who will lose their unemployment benefits, nearly 75,000 are exhausting their six months of state benefits. Without a federal extension, they will have their unemployment insurance cut off after just six months of looking for work. If Congress allows extended unemployment insurance to expire with the unemployment rate above 9 percent, it will be the first time it has done so in 75 years.

    Extending unemployment insurance for 400,000 isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s good policy. Recipients of unemployment benefits use them immediately—to pay the rent and put food on the table—injecting demand into the economy. Also it is a shame that Republicans in the House, who are so willing to go to the mat for tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, would vote to cut off this critical assistance to struggling families.

  7. Anthony says:

    Fortboise, your comment shows nothing more than your complete ignorance of economics.

  8. Pingback: Simpson, Minnick support hold on taxes « Idaho Reporter

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