Congress
9:38 am
Tue January 7, 2014

VIDEO: Coburn On Emergency Unemployment Insurance

Senate Democrats are scratching for votes to pass a White House-backed bill that would renew unemployment benefits that lapsed last month for the long-term jobless.

Speaking on Fox & Friends Tuesday morning, U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) says states that have cut the benefits back have lowered their unemployment rate and increased job formation.

"There's a debate economically about whether this is a disincentive to work, versus an incentive to help people," Coburn said. "I want to help everybody out there that needs some help, but I also want to incentivize them to help themselves, and we're not doing that with this program."

Coburn says the Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill would add $6.4 billion over 10 years.  The bill would restore between 14 weeks and 47 weeks of benefits averaging $256 weekly to an estimated 1.3 million long-term jobless who were affected when the program expired. Without action by Congress, thousands more each week would feel the impact as their state-funded benefits expire, generally after 26 weeks.

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