With midterm elections to be held later this year, both the Republicans and Democrats are engaging in a tug-o-war sort of policy making stemming from similar party agendas to get votes in November.
The GOP intends to take the White House next presidential election as President Obama completes his final term. Beyond that, they have plans to gain more seats in Congress.
They currently have majority in the House, but the potential to win over enough Democratic Senatorial positions so that they control both halves of Congress is an increasingly viable outcome.
Last year around this time, many strategists figured that the Democrats would be secure, but recent headlines about “Obamacare sob stor[ies]” or “Obama fears further Russian Encroachment” are spelling low public support for the president’s party.
With that in mind, it’s no wonder that skeptics argue a proposed bill meant to extend federal benefits to the 2.2 million Americans who saw them cut just this last year, will die in the House. After all the Republicans know that they have to play their cards right to ensure victories, and passing an Obama sponsored bill meant to generate support from wavering blue voters isn’t an idea they’d like to entertain.
That bill was advanced by the Democrat-held Senate on March 27 with a 65-34 vote.
This retroactive measure would reinstate unemployment insurance going back to March 28, and maintain those benefits until May 18. Those in favor argue that the measure, which costs $10 billion, will benefit the economy by pumping money back into the hands of those who need it most.
While it was a bipartisan compromise that pushed it through, Republican senators’ objections were for the most part ignored, and Speaker John Boehner doesn’t intend for Republican concerns to be ignored once it reaches the House of Representatives; effectively, the bill is predicted to die there.
Boehner has repeatedly argued that such retroactive bills are non-feasible, but other extensions of a similar nature have been passed several times since Obama took office.
Moreover, and by far the biggest disadvantage to the bill is one bill proponents have been reminded of continually; how will it be paid for?
The Senate says it’ll be paid from two sources; a U.S. customs fee extension that was accepted in the recently passed budget going until 2024, and from changes to the federal pension program that will span ten years.
However, the Republicans see that the tide is turned against last attempts from Democrats to patch up problems, which is why the Senate’s failure to attach provisions to create jobs to pay the cost of the bill, will more than likely mean federal benefits won’t be extended after all.
Follow The Graphic on Twitter: @PeppGraphic