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GOP fighting Obama plan to defer state interest payments

Dave Camp may represent Michigan in Congress but he apparently has little concern about helping the state avoid more budget cuts and business taxes. He and the rest of the GOP are opposed to a White House plan to delay repayment of state unemployment insurance loans:

Obama administration officials are pitching the plan as a politically palatable way to help the states. Not only would it provide them with immediate relief by deferring huge interest payments that are now due, they argue, it would postpone tax hikes on employers until the national economic recovery is ostensibly in high gear.

But Republicans are promising a fight. A key lawmaker in the Republican-led House of Representatives, Michigan Congressman Dave Camp, told The Wall Street Journal that the proposal “isn’t going anywhere.” GOP Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah lambasted the plan as “job-destroying.”

Still unclear is where Republican governors stand on the plan. The Journal notes that 31 states — including many with GOP governors — collectively have borrowed $42.4 billion from Washington to pay for unemployment insurance. “Some of those 31 states have borrowed so heavily, and repaid the loans so slowly,” the Journal says, “that they triggered automatic tax increases designed to reimburse the federal government.”

Michigan is one of those states. Republicans, of course, are opposed to the additional tax on businesses. But if that’s the case, why oppose the Obama plan, which would put a two year moratorium on those taxes? The plan seems like a win/win for both sides — the states get to avoid any further budget cuts for the next two years and those triggered taxes on business would get rolled back until, presumably, the economy has picked back up.

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