Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo voted to extend unemployment benefits for an additional 90 days without raising the national debt. The amendment, S. Amdt 4492, would have used unspent stimulus funds to cover the three-month extension. Democrats voted the amendment down by a 56-42 margin.
“There has never been a question whether unemployment benefits should be extended. The issue has been if we add an additional $34 billion to our skyrocketing national debt or shift funds from elsewhere to cover it,” said Risch. “Clearly the majority party has decided to borrow and spend today to the detriment of our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren’s future.”
“The amendment that was voted down would have reduced the deficit by $7 billion instead of increasing it by $34 billion, and unemployment benefits would have been extended for those who need them,” Crapo said. “This amendment was offered as a compromise, yet it was still voted down on a party-line vote. It is unfortunate that far too many believe that the Republicans have not supported an unemployment benefit extension; it just should be one that is paid for.”