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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Democrats and Republicans Appear Likely to Extend Unemployment Benefits

Politicians went on Sunday talk shows and made it clear that both sides are ready to extend benefits to the unemployed -- no matter their party affiliation.

President Obama is pressuring both parties to extend unemployment insurance and it appears a Congressional deal could be reached this week.

"I think most folks believe the recipe would include at least an extension of unemployment benefits for those who are unemployed and an extension of all of the tax rates for all Americans for some period of time," said Republican Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona.

"Without unemployment benefits being extended, personally, this is a nonstarter," said Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois.

Durbin and Kyl were speaking on the CBS Sunday show "Face the Nation."

On CNN's "State of the Union" Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said, "Let's take care of the unemployment compensation... We've got to do it. So let's do it."

The movement toward a possible compromise came after Republicans blocked Democratic efforts in the Senate on Saturday to extend the current tax rates on all but the highest income levels. Republicans prefer extending all the tax rates permanently, a prospect that also can't win legislative approval and that Obama would be sure to veto.

The debate comes amidst an 18-month recovery that is beginning to add jobs more quickly than any other recovery from recession in recent memory. But because of the depth of the recession just past, many in the U.S. continue to rely on government benefits as they seek to find permanent work as the recovery begins to fire on multiple cylinders.

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