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GOP Considers Advancing Unemployment Extension With Jobs, Tax Provisions

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
Rep. Xavier Becerra , left, greets workers attending a news conference urging House Republicans to take up the unemployment insurance extension which has already passed in the Senate.

Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., chief deputy whip and a senior tax writer, said no decision had been reached on add-ons, but that some lawmakers were floating ideas. “There’s a lot of discussion of merging UI to this or to that, energy and other things,” Roskam said.

Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., another tax writer, the jobless aid package could be a vehicle for measures aimed at helped the unemployed get work, as well as extensions of expiring tax breaks.

Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, another senior tax writer, said adding just one popular extended tax break like bonus depreciation would not sway him.

“Nothing in my view, short of a jobs bill, a real significant jobs bill, would convince me to vote for that. I really want a much stronger economy. I don’t think any single tax provision can achieve that,” Brady said.

Democrats held a rally Tuesday to urge House Republicans to take up the Senate package. Supporters pointed to a Congressional Budget Office study that showed that a full-year jobless aid extension would add 0.2 points to economic growth. The shorter duration of the Senate proposal means “the benefit to the economy will likewise be smaller,” Seth Carpenter, a Treasury assistant secretary, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

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