Congressional gridlock is making the possibility of an unemployment benefits extension for the long-term unemployed appear slim.
Lawmakers cannot come to a consensus on how long to to extend the benefits or how to pay for them. The wheels fell off the wagon for an $18 billion proposal that was on the table Thursday that would have reinstated benefits for the long-term unemployed through November. The plan would have also placed more constraints on those seeking to collect both unemployment and disability assistance.
Republicans say the extension is too long, meanwhile Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), are pushing back at the GOP saying they are not offering up any "reasonable" solutions for paying the benefits.
Nonetheless, some lawmakers, including U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) are still optimistic that the chamber will reach a compromise.
“I want to take care of people who are unemployed and it’s not intellectually difficult to cut the required amount out of the $3 trillion budget,” the senator said, according to Politico.