Updated 2:20 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday it's up to the White House to make a new proposal before he'll consider an unemployment benefits extension, as the House left town for two weeks without acting on a bipartisan Senate bill.
The Senate's passage of an unemployment benefits extension earlier this week doesn't change the House's stand on the issue, the Ohio Republican said Thursday morning.
Boehner said he had made it clear to the president in December that an unemployment insurance extension would "have to be paid for and would have to include things that would help get our economy moving."
"They have not put forward anything with regard to how we would create more jobs," Boehner said. "And so the ball's still in their court." Asked what package might persuade him to bring an extension to the floor for a vote, Boehner said, "You'll have to ask the administration," again blaming the White House for not coming forward with a jobs proposal.
A senior administration official said earlier this week that the administration would be willing to engage in constructive talks with Republicans on the issue but would not be subject to a hostage negotiation.
The Senate this week approved a bipartisan extension, with six Republicans joining all Democrats present to clear the measure, but House Republicans ignored the bill and left town.
Ways and Means Republicans this week contended in a blog post that an unemployment extension won't create jobs. Steven T. Dennis contributed to this report. Follow our coverage of the unemployment insurance extension proposals:
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