The New, Leaner Jobs Bill
Democrats have been trimming and cutting and adding measures to the jobs bill — also known as the extenders’ bill or H.R. 4213 — that stalled out in the Senate. Yesterday, to appease deficit hawks and the 12 Democrats who voted against authorizing emergency deficit spending on the bill, they trimmed back unemployment benefits and reimbursements to doctors, saving around $20 billion.
The new version takes away a $25-a-week supplement to federally extended unemployment insurance payments, authorized last November, saving $5.8 billion. Anyone receiving the $25 will continue to get it until the expiry of their benefits or Dec. 7, whichever is sooner. New claimants will not receive the benefit. And, trimming $16.4 billion, the bill will stave off a 21 percent cut to Medicare reimbursements to doctors just until November, rather than next year.
The negotiations also revised upward the amount of money investment managers need to declare open to income taxes, rather than capital gains taxes, and hiked a tax on oil.
The initial bill that failed in the Senate spent $140 billion, $80 billion of which would have added to the deficit. The House had to trim its bill twice to appease deficit-wary “Blue Dog” Democrats — including dropping $24 billion in Medicaid funding for states. That provision remains in the Senate bill.