Unemployment Insurance Benefit Extension Debate Returns to the Senate

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Unemployment Insurance Benefit Extension Debate Returns to the Senate

With the expiration of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (“EUC”) benefits on December 28, 2013, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid provided extension legislation to the Senate; however there were concerns that new “pay for” amendments may be necessary to gain approval in the House.

Senator Reid proposed voting on alternative legislation with the cost paid for with a provision that called for extending the defense sequester cuts beyond the 10 year budget window.  Unfortunately, the Senate lacked the votes to send the bill to the House, but there was a possibility that another EUC benefit extension bill could be considered in the future.

Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) has proposed a new amendment to the EUC benefit extension bill that would extend EUC benefits through March 31, 2014 and seek to “pay for” the extension largely through a pension smoothing proposal that would permit employers to reduce pension contributions, resulting in money available to be spent in the economy and presumably increase tax revenue.