Unemployment extension seen as likely to pass in Congress

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Tuesday, November 08, 2011 at 10:00 am | More from The Michigan Messenger

unemployment form

The conventional wisdom in Washington seems to be that another year-long extension of federal unemployment benefits is likely to be approved in Congress despite strong Republican opposition in the House.

The Hill reports:

Congress is expected to pass a yearlong extension of unemployment benefits before they expire, although the process is uncertain.

Advocates of reauthorizing the program feel confident that a yearlong extension will get tucked into one of several different bills that could pass by year’s end — a supercommittee budget deal or a tax extenders bill that would renew the Medicare ‘doc fix’ along with other expiring program provisions.

Without hitching a ride on one of those vehicles, the measure may have to fly solo, likely igniting a heated battle between Democrats and Republicans, inevitably pushing the fight to the brink of expiration…

A positive sign is that while talk about the issue has been subdued, discussions are escalating on reauthorizing the federal benefits, which expire Dec. 31, Conti said.

Democrats say they have the offsets if Republicans insist on them to fund the program without increasing deficit spending.

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