For once, “Republicans” in the U.S. Senate actually behaved in a manner consistent with their limited government rhetoric … voting down an $18 billion extension of “emergency” extended unemployment benefits this week.
Six “Republicans” previously voted with Democrats in favor of a three month extension of the handout – which would have cost taxpayers $6.4 billion.
Free market advocates (rightfully) cheered the decision …
“It is refreshing that Senate Republicans have found the backbone to stop Harry Reid’s attempt to jam through a massive unemployment insurance extension spending increase without making the necessary cuts to pay for it,” said Nathan Mehrens, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG). “It is time for Congress to have an honest discussion about Obama policies, including Obamacare and runaway environmental regulations, that are exasperating this long-term unemployment crisis, rather than just passing the buck on to future taxpayers.”
Perpetually extending “emergency” unemployment benefits is incentivizing dependency – or in the words of former Barack Obama economic advisor Larry Summers “providing an incentive, and the means, not to work.”
First approved in 2008 by former president George W. Bush and a Democratic-controlled Congress, the “emergency” benefit extension enabled recipients to draw unemployment checks for up to 99 weeks instead of the pre-recession limit of 26 weeks.
Anyway, rare props to the fiscally liberal wing of the GOP (including U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham) for voting the right way on this bill.