(Senate - January 08, 2014)

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[Page S185]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                         UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, there will be no rollcall votes tonight.
  I think as most people know, though it bears reiterating, I oppose 
paying for a short-term extension of unemployment insurance benefits. 
The current level of long-term unemployment is an economic emergency, 
without any question, and this would be very unfair to the people who 
are desperately in need of help, to say we are happy to give you this 
money, but we are going to take something else out of the economy to do 
that. We are not going to do that. I think that would be wrong.
  Having said that, there are a number of Senators who are having 
productive conversations about possible offsets, one of whom is on the 
floor today, my friend, the Senator from Ohio. He is someone who 
understands finances, as he was head of the Office of Management and 
Budget. So whenever we have him working on the numbers, we are always 
dealing with someone who knows what they are talking about. I don't 
always agree with his conclusions, but certainly he is a person whom we 
all look to for guidance in this area.
  As I said here a few hours ago, the Republicans feel this should be 
paid for. Let's find out how they feel it should be paid for. Again, we 
on this side don't want to pay for a short-term extension. If it is 
going to be paid for, we should figure out in years how to pay for it. 
That would be much better than this nickel-and-diming. We have tried to 
do it for 3 months, paid for, but I would almost bet it will not get 
done. So we should, if we are going to have pay-fors, try to figure out 
how to do it for 1 year.
  We should let the conversations go on overnight. I have spoken to a 
number of Republican Senators; and, of course, I want to assert every 
bit of influence, help, pressure, whatever you want to say, to try to 
get this done for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that 
among a number of cosponsors of this is the junior Senator from Nevada. 
This is an example of bipartisanship and how it should work. We have 
one of the most liberal Members of the Senate and one of the most 
conservative Members of the Senate who have introduced this 
legislation, and that is what we are working on now.
  So I repeat, I hope the conversations continue overnight and we will 
see where we are in the morning.
  I do have a few other things here, and I will be as fast as possible.