Pelosi doesn't want to set "precedent that they have to pay for new spending"

Senator Coburn explains the negotiations that he had over trying to make sure the extended unemployment insurance benefits are paid for.

We came to an agreement in the us senate with Harry Reid, myself, Mitch McConnell and Dick Durbin, that we agreed to pay for it for two weeks. We agreed to pay for it for one week or two weeks, but we found less important programs that they agreed to get rid of that would have done it. When that was communicated to the House, the speaker's words back is they don't want to set a precedent that they have to pay for new spending. That's the truth. That's the worst. So I want to set that precedent. . . .

Here is some background on what got the Senate to this position.

As lawmakers head home for a two week recess, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., led Senate Republicans in blocking a vote to extend unemployment insurance and health benefits for thousands of people who are out of work.

“What I wanted us to do is to pay for it and these people get their unemployment insurance,” Coburn said.

Republicans believe the benefits should be paid for by the legislation. Democrats, who failed to rally the necessary 60 votes to override GOP objections, argue the country faces an emergency situation because of the swelling ranks of unemployed.

“We chose not to work it out, not to solve the problem because we didn’t want to make difficult choices about where we cut spending and eliminate additions to the debt,” Coburn said. . . .



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