House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday that he has "strong concerns" about a Senate proposal to extend unemployment benefits to the long-term jobless, citing the objections of a group of state unemployment program administrators and calling the plan "simply unworkable."
"We have always said that we’re willing to look at extending emergency unemployment benefits again, if Washington Democrats can come up with a plan that is fiscally-responsible, and gets to the root of the problem by helping to create more private-sector jobs," he said in a statement. "There is no evidence that the bill being rammed through the Senate by Leader Reid meets that test, and according to these state directors, the bill is also simply unworkable."
Boehner cited a letter from the National Association of Workforce Agencies that warned of "considerable delays in the implementation of the program and increased administrative issues and costs" if Congress approves the legislation.
The Senate has yet to take up the new compromise legislation on the jobless benefits, which expired at the end of last year. A bipartisan group of senators unveiled the deal –- which would extend the benefits for five months and allow retroactive payments to eligible recipients -- before the Senate left for a week-long recess.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said before the break that the Senate would hold votes on the proposal after the St. Patrick’s Day work period.
First published March 19 2014, 10:41 AM
Carrie Dann is a national political writer for NBCNews.com. She has worked for NBC and NBCNews.com since 2006. Dann writes about politics and Congress. Dann rejoined the web team after 18 months as a campaign reporter for NBC News, covering presidential and vice presidential candidates during the 2012 election. She also covered the 2007-2008 presidential campaign for NBC, including extensive reporting on the Iowa caucuses.
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Prior to her work at NBCNews.com, Dann was a staff reporter at CongressDaily, where she covered lobbying and government reform.
A Virginia native, she now lives in Washington, D.C.