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Posts tagged ‘Jack Reed’

Trump: Extend Unemployment Benefits for Three Months.


Real-estate and entertainment mogul Donald Trump said Monday he supported a bipartisan plan to extend unemployment benefits for another three months.

“I sort of like the idea of the three-month extension that the Republicans and Democrats are trying to get on with,” Trump told “Fox & Friends.”

Story continues below video.

Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, a Democrat, and Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada introduced a bill last month to extend unemployment benefits for three months. Long-term unemployment benefits expired Dec. 28 in the budget plan passed by Congress in December.

Extending unemployment benefits has the support of some Republicans, including Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. He told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday he would be in favor of the move, as long as there was a way to pay for it, and not “borrow money from China, or simply to print up money for it.”

Trump said a problem was people drawing unemployment who were not looking for work, but were instead “sitting back and not pulling their weight.” He maintained the country was not the same as it was in decades past, when hard work led to success.

“You just can’t work hard enough. And you work long hours — forget about the eight-hour days. You work 20-hour days. It seems we’re getting away from that,” he said.

People should consider a move to another area of the country where jobs are more plentiful, Trump said. Though it may be hard to leave, he suggested people “go to a place that’s really productive.”

“It’s hard for people to do that, because we’re all set in our ways. And you grow up in a certain area and you’re supposed to work there. And that’s supposed to be it.

“I would say, ‘get up. Get out. Go to those areas. Move there. Move there permanently and have a good life,'” he said.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Wanda Carruthers

Unemployment Insurance Has Little GOP Support.


With a Senate vote on extending unemployment insurance to more than 1 million Americans scheduled for Monday evening, it is not clear there will be enough Republican support for the bipartisan plan to pass.

proposal by Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada and Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island  would provide benefits to about 1.3 million eligible workers for three months, costing roughly $6.5 billion.

While it has the support of Heller and 55 members of the Senate Democratic caucus, many GOP senators have said they won’t back the program because it does not include a way to pay for the benefits, reports The Washington Post.

Spokespeople for Republican Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Rob Portman of Ohio, and Roger Wicker of Mississippi, all states with high unemployment rates, told the newspaper that the legislators will vote against the Reed-Heller proposal.

Aides to Bob Corker of Tennessee and Mark Kirk of Illinois, also states with high levels of unemployment, told the Post they didn’t know how the senators would vote.

Meanwhile, Organizing for Action, the Obama administration’s lobbying arm, has planned events in 30 cities for Tuesday to pressure Republicans to support the plan, reports Politico.

Labor groups are also organizing phone calls to the Capitol and holding a Wednesday rally featuring unemployed workers and Democratic members of Congress who support the proposal, according to the publication.

But a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, reaffirmed on Sunday that he would not consider any unemployment benefit extension unless it is paid for.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Lisa Barron

Reid: Senate to Vote on Extending Jobless Benefits.


Image: Reid: Senate to Vote on Extending Jobless Benefits

The Senate will vote next Monday on temporarily extending federal benefits for the long-term unemployed, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said.

Reid, D-Nev., told The Associated Press he’s hopeful a bill co-sponsored by Nevada‘s Republican Sen. Dean Heller will be approved by the upper chamber, but he offered no prediction on whether it will pass muster in the House of Representatives.

“I don’t predict anything in the House,” Reid said Monday, describing the Republican-controlled House as a “black hole of legislation.”

“We’ll see what happens,” he said.

But he praised Heller for the bipartisan bill he introduced with U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island. The measure would continue the federal jobless program for three months while a compromise is sought.

“I hope we can get that done,” said Reid, who has often been at odds with the conservative Heller.

“I’m happy to see Dean has joined us,” Reid added. “He’s broken away from the tea party folks who don’t want to do anything.”

When he introduced the bill, Heller said, “Providing a safety net for those in need is one of the most important functions of the federal government. As Nevada’s unemployment rate continues to top the charts nationwide, many families and individuals back home do not know how they are going to meet their basic needs.”

A two-year budget deal reached earlier this month failed to include an extension of jobless benefits for people who have been unemployed longer than six months. About 17,000 Nevadans lost benefits when the program expired Saturday. Nationally, 1.3 million were cut off from receiving unemployment.

Nevada officials estimate 800 Nevadans will lose benefits each week as they exhaust their 26 weeks of state-paid unemployment insurance unless Congress extends the federal program that was enacted in 2008 at the height of the recession when unemployment soared. It allowed the long-term unemployed in hard hit states like Nevada to receive benefits for up to 99 weeks. The duration was cut to 73 weeks last year.

Looking ahead to 2014, Reid said one of his priorities will be addressing the wealth gap between the rich, poor and middle class.

“The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, the middle class is getting squeezed and it’s just not fair,” said Reid, adding that raising the minimum wage would be another top priority, along with extending jobless benefits.

He said he’s scheduled to appear on a Sunday news show to outline his legislative goals in the midterm election year.
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: Newsmax.com

Obama, Democrats Push for Extension of Unemployment Benefits.


On the eve of the expiration of federal benefits for the long-term unemployed, U.S. President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies are stepping up pressure on Republicans to renew the program.

Top White House economic adviser Gene Sperling said in a statement issued on Friday that a failure to renew emergency jobless benefits would harm the economy and he urged Congress to move quickly to pass a short-term extension of the aid.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, has vowed to bring to a vote a bill extending federal unemployment insurance benefits as soon as Congress returns from its holiday recess on Jan. 6.

“While we remain disappointed that Congress did not heed the president’s call to extend emergency unemployment benefits for next year before the holidays, the president as well as the Democratic congressional leadership have made clear the importance of extending the benefits immediately upon Congress’s return,” Sperling said in a statement.

Sperling, director of the White House National Economic Council, endorsed legislation introduced by Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, and Dean Heller, a Republican from Nevada, that would extend the unemployment benefits for three months. He said passage of the temporary bill would allow time to consider an extension for all of 2014.

Without an extension, some 1.3 million unemployed Americans are scheduled to lose their federal jobless benefits on Saturday.

Under an emergency program created during President George W. Bush’s administration in 2008, federal benefits kick in for Americans who have exhausted their state unemployment benefits. In many states, unemployment benefits run out after 26 weeks.

The federal jobless aid has been renewed every year since 2008. Many Republicans oppose an extension of jobless benefits, arguing the program was always intended to be temporary. They have also said an extension would add to the federal deficit unless it is offset by spending elsewhere in the budget.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

GOP’s Heller Pushes Bill to Extend Jobless Benefits.


Image: GOP's Heller Pushes Bill to Extend Jobless Benefits

By Drew MacKenzie

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller has raised eyebrows among his Republican colleagues by putting his name to a bill to extend unemployment benefits to 1.3 million jobless Americans.

Co-sponsored by Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the legislation fails to offset the costs of the welfare with any proposed cuts to the federal budget — so breaking GOP pledges to keep entitlements and government spending down.

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The legislation, which could be introduced in the Senate in early January, has been hailed by President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, but is likely to upset many Republicans, especially conservatives, says Rhode Island’s Providence Journal.

Republicans have argued that they will vote against extending benefits unless other cuts are put forward to counter the cost of the unemployment benefits.

The object of the emergency bill is to give the government time to come up with a comprehensive plan to make changes to the program and find ways to pay for it.

The benefits available to workers unemployed for 26 weeks or more are set to expire on Saturday.

Democrats had hoped to include a one-year extension to the benefits, at a cost of $25 billion, to the two-year federal budget, which was negotiated by the Senate and House finance committee chairs, Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

But the extension was omitted from the legislation, which was signed into law Thursday by President Barack Obama during his Christmas vacation in Hawaii.

Heller and Reed have a particular interest in the unemployment problem because their two states have the highest jobless rates in the country. Extensions to unemployment benefits are given to jobless workers in states with the worst unemployment rates, with Nevadans eligible for the maximum 73 weeks, says the Las Vegas Sun.

On Reed’s official website, Heller said, “Providing a safety net for those in need is one of the most important functions of the federal government. As Nevada’s unemployment rate continues to top the charts nationwide, many families and individuals back home do not know how they are going to meet their basic needs.

“I am pleased to join Senator Reed on this legislation, which aims to help people across the nation who have fallen on hard times.”

Reed said he had introduced the “emergency spending” measure so that the unemployed aren’t “cut off, thrown off the cliff starting literally this week.” He suggested that a year-long extension of jobless benefits could be paid for by closing tax loopholes and reducing offshore tax breaks.

The legislation has already received the support of leading Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Reid said he was “pleased and proud of my colleague Sen. Dean Heller” for introducing “a good bill, and it deserves a vote.”

And White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett has declared that Obama’s administration “strongly support” the bill, adding, “We think it’s very important; we think they’ve made a very good case for it.” She also said the president would help “galvanize support for it.”

Editor’s Note: ObamaCare Is Here. Are You Prepared?

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

McCain: Cut Foreign Aid to Egypt.


Image: McCain: Cut Foreign Aid to Egypt

By Audrey Hudson and Sandy Fitzgerald

Members of Congress are divided on what to do with Egypt’s $1.5 billion in foreign aid as U.S. law requires the suspension of taxpayer funding to countries where a democratically elected government is deposed by a military coup.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee told “Fox News Sunday” that funding should continue, and Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island said he is not anxious to kill the foreign spending.

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But Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona is insisting the purse strings be cut in the wake of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi‘s ouster by the country’s military. And House Republican Mike Rogers says the fact that Egypt toppled its president in a coup cannot be ignored.

Florida Republican Rep. Trey Radel said that he also “agrees with Senator McCain” and that aid should be suspended until specific conditions are met, including the establishment of elections and a free press.

“I think we have to be very, very careful in terms of suspending aid or cutting it off,” Reed said.

“Will cutting off aid accelerate or enhance the opportunities and the chances to have a truly democratic government? I don’t think so,” Reed said.

Corker said Congress should not make any rash decisions on funding.

“It seems like Washington always wants to jump to something that really, in many cases, does not matter,” Corker said.

“The aid doesn’t flow on a daily basis. We’ll have plenty of time to assess that. It seems to me that what we should be looking at is how the military and how the country itself handles this transition,” Corker said.

McCain, appearing Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” said pointedly that the military’s action was a coup.

“It was a coup, and it was the second time in two-and-a-half years that we have seen the military step in. It’s a strong indicator of the lack of American leadership and influence,” McCain said. “Reluctantly I believe that we have to suspend aid until such time as there is a new constitution and a free and fair election.”

However, McCain said doesn’t think aid can be pulled back because it’s “in the pipeline. But I hope that the pressure that it brings on the Egyptian military will make for a very rapid transition.”

Mohammed Morsi was a terrible president. Their economy is in terrible shape thanks to their policies, but the fact is, the United States should not be supporting this coup,” McCain said.

President Barack Obama has not declared Morsi’s ouster by the country’s armed forces a military coup, if such a declaration is made and recognized by the State Department, U.S. foreign end would be eliminated.

Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said that the United States should be involved in ensuring a stable Egypt, but it should not ignore the law requiring it to stop aid when a military coup occurs.

U.S. officials have been taking pains not to call the military’s ousting of Morsi a coup but Rogers says the law is “very clear,” and the United States should not act outside its own laws.

“I think the irony of us not following the law after the Egyptian crisis would be too much to handle,” Rogers said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Rogers suggested making an exemption to the current rule against aid after a military coup.

“The president needs to come to Congress,” Rogers said. “I would not try to circumvent the law by calling this something it is not.”

The Egyptian military is the one stable factor in the area, Rogers said. It did not overreact during the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubark a year ago, and in the current situation was reacting to calls of secularists and more liberal and moderate factions rather than acting on its own, he said.

Still, U.S. actions should be done in a legal way, Rogers said. The United States should help the military and then provide a way for multiple factions to participate in a newly elected government to allow for “a march toward true democracy.”

Sen. Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Sunday the United States’ monetary investment in Egypt must lead to “an Egypt for all.”

Menendez told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the $1.4 billion in aid is intended to protect domestic interests while helping Egypt along a path to democracy.

“This country doesn’t have a history of democracy,” the New Jersey Democrat said. “The only way that Egypt will succeed is if it’s an Egypt for all.”

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U.S. leaders should insist on a swift transition to a civilian government, with all parties participating, new elections for the next president and the possibility of a new constitution, Menendez said.

“At the end of the day, while we have already made some obligations on that $1.4 billion, by no means have we made the overwhelming amount of that obligation,” he said. “This is an opportunity to have a pause and say to the Egyptians, ‘You have an opportunity to come together.'”

A column published in Foreign Policy magazine by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, shortly before the overthrow, accused the administration of staying on the “sidelines” during the latest protests.

“In what has to be one of the most stunning diplomatic failures in recent memory, the United States is — in both perception and reality — entrenched as the partner of a repressive, Islamist regime and the enemy of the secular, pro-democracy opposition,” he wrote.
Greg Richter and Amy Woods contributed to this report.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Mike Rogers: Expect More Benghazi Whistleblowers.


A top Republican on Sunday said he expected more witnesses to step forward with information about last year’s deadly attack on a U.S. mission in Benghazi and how President Barack Obama’s administration responded to the unfolding events.

“I do think we’re going to see more whistle blowers. I certainly know my committee has been contacted,” Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday”.

Last week, Republican charges that White House covered up details of the Sept. 11, 2012 attack gathered more steam after former U.S. diplomat Greg Hicks told lawmakers he believed more could have been done to stop the assault by suspected Islamist militants.

Hicks, the second in command at the U.S. Embassy in Libya at the time, expressed his frustration in an emotionally charged congressional hearing that a U.S. military jet and special forces were not sent to help in Benghazi.

A report by ABC News provided additional momentum to the highly partisan flap over whether the administration tried to avoid casting the attack as terrorism at a time when the presidential election was less than two months away.

ABC released 12 versions of the administration’s “talking points” on Benghazi that appeared to show how various agencies – particularly the State Department and the CIA – shaped what became the Obama administration’s initial playbook for explaining how four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the attack.

The report showed the final talking points went through a series of revisions that scrubbed references to previous terror warnings, including one regarding the potential threat from al Qaeda in Benghazi and eastern Libya.

“I would call it a cover-up in the extent that there was willful removal of information,” Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican, said on ABC’s “This Week”.

McCain called for a select congressional committee with a mandate to interview “everybody,” including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has already testified before Congress on the matter and accepted responsibility for the tragedy.

But McCain’s call was brushed off by fellow Republican Representative Darrell Issa, who chairs the House of Representatives Oversight and Government committee that heard from Hicks last week.

“You know, let’s not blow things out of proportion. This is a failure, it needs to be investigated. Our committee can investigate,” Issa said.

Issa said he would be sending a request on Monday to privately depose two former U.S. officials that headed the Accountability Review Board, which investigated the Benghazi attacks and issued a scathing report on Dec. 18 that criticized security at the mission and leadership “deficiencies”.

Issa said he wanted to hear from Thomas Pickering, a former U.S. ambassador in the Middle East, Russia and India, and retired Admiral Michael Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, privately “so we can get the facts in a nonpartisan way.”

Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, told ABC News there was no basis to Republican charges of a cover up.

The Obama administration has provided over 25,000 pieces of documentation to Congress, which has already held 11 hearings on the matter, Reed said.

Meanwhile, Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a Republican who served in Obama’s Democratic administration, told CBS’ “Face the Nation” it would have been “very difficult, if not impossible” to rescue the U.S. embassy officials and said he would have not have approved such an operation.

“To send some small number of special forces or other troops in without knowing what the environment is, without knowing what the threat is, without having any intelligence in terms of what is actually going on the ground, I think would have been very dangerous,” Gates said.

“It’s sort of a cartoonish impression of military capabilities and military forces” to think the United States could have mounted a rescue, Gates said.

It would have been risky just to send in a military jet to try to scare off the insurgents, “given the number of surface-to-air missiles” on the loose in Libya, he said.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: NEWSmax.com

Sen. Corker Says There Are Questions About Chuck Hagel’s ‘Temperament’.


This morning on “This Week,” Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee expressed concerns about the “temperament” of Chuck Hagel, the man President Obama nominated to be his next Secretary of Defense.

” Just his overall temperament and is he suited to run a department or a big agency or a big entity like the Pentagon,” Corker told me. “I think there are numbers of staffers who are coming forth now just talking about the way he has dealt with them. I have, certainly questions, about a lot of things.”

Corker – who said his concerns were not “disqualifying” – added, “I begin all of these confirmation processes with an open mind. I did have a good relationship with him. I had a good conversation with him this week. But I think this is one where people are going to be listening to what he has to say, me in particular … especially some of the positions he’s taken generally speaking about our nuclear posture.”

Hagel, a former senator from Nebraska has come under attack for his positions and past statements on a range of issues, most notably his stance on issues concerning Israel, a key ally of the United States in the Middle East.

Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island said that he expected Hagel to leave his confirmation hearings with strong support and that his experience in the military would serve him well.

 Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By George Stephanopoulos | ABC OTUS News

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