Boehner rejects bipartisan jobless benefits plan

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan bill to extend unemployment insurance for more than 2 million jobless Americans is poised to clear the Senate next week, but House Speaker John A. Boehner is raising new concerns that it could be costly for states to administer and could lead to fraud.

Boehner’s objections echo warnings from the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, which has repeatedly urged Congress not to attach cumbersome new eligibility requirements. States have “antiquated” computer systems that cannot quickly implement new rules, the group warned Wednesday, and may end up giving aid to those who are ineligible.

The potential problems “are cause for serious concern,” Boehner said, urging the Senate to shelve the legislation. “The bill is also simply unworkable.”

Ten senators broke a stalemate to reach the bipartisan accord on the jobless aid package – primarily by attaching Republican-led initiatives, such as prohibiting aid to millionaires. But the state workforce association, which represents state administrators responsible for implementing unemployment insurance, says the bill would be “very hard to administer.”

Under the deal, benefits would be provided to the long-term unemployed, retroactive to Dec. 28, 2013, when jobless aid was shut off. The five-month package would expire June 1, when aid would again be cut.

“Some states have indicated they might decide such changes are not feasible in the short time available,” Mark Henry, president of the association and executive director of the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, wrote in a letter to Senate leaders. The group sent a similar warning in January as Congress began debating the issue.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said the chamber would “quickly move” to a vote on the compromise when lawmakers return to Washington next week.

With the backing of five Republicans – mainly those from states with high unemployment rates – the measure is expected to have enough votes to overcome a GOP-backed filibuster.

Boehner has not said whether the House would consider the bill.

More in Local News

If vehicles crash and tumble, rescuers want to be ready

The Puyallup Extrication Team practiced with other fire departments on cars, SUVs and even buses.

Man arrested after stolen car crashes in Everett

The accident occurred in the 100 block of SE Everett Mall Way.

5-vehicle crash in Arlington kills 62-year-old woman

Medics had transported her to the hospital, where she later died.

2 men hospitalized after rollover collision on U.S. 2

Two men were taken to the hospital with minor injuries… Continue reading

Marysville police serve a warrant — across the street from HQ

A man who fled was taken into custody. Police were serving a warrant for alleged drug-related crimes.

Marysville man charged with stabbing wife who sought divorce

Nathan Bradford, 45, found divorce papers while going through the woman’s car.

Man on ferry accuses child of theft, allegedly pulls knife

The man was arrested, no one was hurt, and the ferry was delayed 30 minutes on its way to Mukilteo.

Coming together as family

Special-needs students and teachers at the Transition Center cooked up a Thanksgiving feast.

Front Porch

EVENTS Snohomish man’s legacy The life and legacy of William Shelton, the… Continue reading

Most Read