House GOP would consider extending unemployment benefits, Boehner says

He listed to the tea party. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

House Republican leaders made no promises Tuesday about holding a vote to extend unemployment benefits, an issue currently under consideration in the U.S. Senate.

But Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said House Republicans are "concerned with those having a difficult time trying to find a job. That's why we've passed dozens of jobs bills to try to help improve the economy so those jobs will be created."

He reiterated that he told White House Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough before the Christmas congressional recess that "we would consider extending emergency unemployment benefits if it was paid for and if there were provisions that we could agree to that get our economy moving again."

His comments mirror those of Senate Republicans, who are seeking to ensure that a bipartisan proposal to extend unemployment benefits for three months at a cost of $6.5 billion  includes supplemental spending cuts and that Democratic leaders permit votes on GOP amendments related to job training and job creation.

Some Republican senators who have spoken to President Obama in recent days have suggested that the president remains open to possible spending cuts to pay for the extension.

Boehner and his leadership lieutenants repeatedly reminded reporters during a Tuesday morning news conference that the House has passed dozens of proposals to spur economic growth, roll back federal regulations they believe are stifling growth and measures to establish new job training programs for the long-term unemployed.

Ed O’Keefe is a congressional reporter with The Washington Post and covered the 2008 and 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
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