Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Do You Think Emergency Unemployment Benefits Is Emergency Funding?

Straight to the point - the howling from the Republican side of the aisle in Congress for using their filibuster to block funds to the unemployed is like a chorus. All in unison, they cry that funding unemployment insurance violates the PAYGO laws recently enacted by Congress. Although this makes an interesting debate - the unemployed who have had their benefits exhaust do not have time for this debate to be argued when the Pay-As-You-Go rule specifically states that PAYGO is not applicable in times of emergency funding.

There is a reason the funds are called Emergency Unemployment Compensation. It truly is an emergency. It should be treated by Congress as if there are a group of individuals who need funding in the wake of a hurricane.

Would the Republican Party scream PAYGO if a hurricane struck through the Gulf of Mexico? Would they hold up funds to people who need emergency funding when the rules of PAYGO specifically exempt emergency situations and emergency funding? Apparently so and that's a grave concern for many Americans - not just the unemployed.

The law is not on the side of Republicans and the facts are not on the side of Republicans. They are essentially being obstructionists when they argue that PAYGO should be used for unemployment extensions. These are some talking points to consider when the Senate is back in session.

You can see more information about the PAYGO rules at: http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=591&type=0

Or use your favorite search engine to view PAYGO rules. Emergency funding is excluded. Those are the facts and something everyone should know about the rules of PAYGO.
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