As none other than Bill Clinton noticed, some conservatives have been skeptical of the tax deal. At the heart of their concerns is the fact that there is no provision to pay for the $50+ billion extension in unemployment benefits. But if Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), has his way, that won’t be a problem. Today he introduces legislation to pay for the extended unemployment benefits, and then some. From his press release:
U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, today introduced an amendment to fully pay for the $56.5 billion extension of long-term Unemployment Insurance benefits included in the tax package currently being debated in the Senate. Thune’s amendment would be paid for by permanently rescinding $86 billion in unspent, unobligated discretionary government funds.
“Providing relief for Americans who are struggling to find a job is important, but Washington must pay for this spending,” said Thune. “Congress spends too much and failing to pay for this continued 99-week extension of Unemployment Insurance will only contribute to our rapidly growing, dangerous national debt. The American people sent a clear message on election day: They want their government to pay its bills.”
Thune’s amendment allows the Office of Management and Budget to determine which government agencies should experience a rescission of unspent or unobligated funding and includes common sense exemptions to protect national security and veterans affairs spending.