- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Republican senators: Prohibit illegals from claiming child tax credit
Cuts would go to pay for unemployment benefits
Question of the Day
Republican senators gave a small victory to Democrats this week in voting not to filibuster a three-month extension to unemployment benefits, but GOP lawmakers are now trying to turn the debate into a choice between the jobless and illegal immigrants.
A group of Republicans, including three who helped defeat the filibuster, said Wednesday that they want to pay for the enhanced unemployment benefits and for restoring full retirement benefits to military retirees by prohibiting illegal immigrants from claiming a child tax credit.
The debate has taken on broader implications, however, with the GOP saying they must be allowed to offer amendments if there is to be progress on major issues this year, and with Democrats insisting they get a chance to decide which amendments the Republicans can offer.
“This obstructionism by the Democrat majority is against the traditions of this body, and it needs to end,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday. “If Democrats truly want to get anything done this year, they are going to have to learn how to work with us.”
Most Senate Republicans now say they will accept a three-month extension of unemployment benefits, but only if they are allowed to find a “pay-for” — Capitol Hill-speak for spending cuts or tax increases elsewhere that would offset the cost.
Democrats have signaled that they are reluctant to pay for the $6.5 billion cost of extending the unemployment benefits, and rejected the GOP tax-break plan.
Late Wednesday, Democratic leaders were pondering whether to allow the GOP to offer amendments. They postponed an expected vote that would have officially brought the unemployment bill to the Senate floor.
Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said Wednesday that if Republicans have an idea to offset the extension, they should share it. But earlier in the week, he said he would only consider amendments that he considered “something serious” — and he rejected the proposal to end the tax break for illegal immigrants.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire Republican, is sponsoring that proposal along with a handful of other Republicans. Her plan would require those claiming the Additional Child Tax Credit to provide a Social Security number — which would exclude many illegal immigrants, who aren’t eligible for a Social Security number and instead pay income taxes using an individual taxpayer identification number.
Republicans say ending the tax break will save $20 billion over 10 years, more than enough to cover both unemployment benefits and military retiree pay.
“There’s only one reason that the majority leader would not let this amendment go to the floor, and that’s that he wants a problem rather than a solution,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson, Georgia Republican.
But Democrats said taking away the tax credit from illegal immigrant parents would hurt their children, who in some cases are U.S. citizens.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said Democrats are willing to listen to the ideas Republicans have to pay for the extension, but have yet to hear an idea they can support.
“They’ve suggested in some ways taking a child tax credit away from poor children,” she told reporters on Wednesday. “We don’t think that that’s a good pay-for, but we’re open to hear what they have to say, although we don’t think it should be paid for.”
Two Republican senators who voted yes in Tuesday’s procedural vote — Mrs. Ayotte and Sen. Rob Portman — said they would withdraw their support if the unemployment package isn’t paid for. That would leave Democrats short of the 60-votes needed to move forward.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Jacqueline Klimas covers Capitol Hill for The Washington Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Senate bill quadruples fines for colleges that stay silent on sexual assault
- Rep. Jeff Miller: 'Ain't no leash for VA'
- House passes VA reform compromise
- Newly confirmed VA chief greeted with lawsuit over military sex assault treatment
Latest Blog Entries
- Miss. GOP chair: Huckabee distracting from GOP's reasonable pro-life stance
- Commerce Secretary 'optimistic' about U.S.'s economic standing worldwide
- Less than half of registered voters would re-elect their congressman, poll finds
- Half of registered voters in Va. would re-elect Sen. Mark Warner
- 2013 was second most polarizing year of Obama's presidency
TWT Video Picks
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- House backs faster deportations, cancels 'Dreamer' policy
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- HATCH: Destroying the Senate and our liberties
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors