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Boehner: 'Strong Concerns' About Senate Jobless Benefits Deal

Boehner said the Senate compromise plan is 'simply unworkable,' according to a group of state unemployment program administrators.
Image: John Boehner, Eric Cantor
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, joined by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va., right, meets with reporters following a Republican caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 12, 2014. After months of railing against President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, Republicans scored a key victory in a hard-fought congressional race in a Florida special election Tuesday that largely turned on the federal health care law and that had been closely watched as a bellwether of midterm elections in November. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)J. Scott Applewhite / AP

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.