Congress has approved extending federal unemployment benefits to Americans struggling to find work.  All of Idaho’s congressional delegation voted against the plan, largely due to concerns that it will increase the national debt.

The U.S. House approved the plan Thursday on a largely party-line 272 to 152 vote.  It was signed later in the day by President Barack Obama.

The $34 billion plan would keep extended federal unemployment benefits through the end of November.  In Idaho, approximately 10,000 people could start receiving unemployment payments again.  Eligible individuals could receive payments for the six weeks in which extended federal benefits had lapsed.

Rep. Walt Minnick was one of 10 Democrats to oppose the plan.  “I am absolutely opposed to digging the deficit hole deeper,” Minnick told earlier this month when speaking about the legislation.  He called the deficit the biggest single threat to the country, and that Congress could have found ways to cover the cost of assisting people who are out of work.  “I want to help them, but I want that help to be paid for,” Minnick said.

Minnick and Republican Rep. Mike Simpson have said existing money from the 2009 stimulus plan could have paid for the extended unemployment benefits.  Idaho’s two Republican senators, Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, have offered similar alternatives in explaining their no votes on the plan.

The plan approved by Congress removes an additional $25 weekly payment that had been on weekly federal unemployment payments that was part of the 2009 stimulus plan.

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  1. Thank you to Republican Senators Collins & Snowe who showed courage and heart to vote for this much needed emergency benefit extension. To all those Senators who voted NO we’ll see you in November.

    Let us not forget under the Bush administration, the Republican’s passed a bill which was not paid for and gave the richest 2% a “tax break” which cost us $700 Billion.

    So to the “born again fiscal responsible” Republican party, want you did over this extension was dispicable. You played politics with people’s lives, you went on an American holiday July 4th while your fellow American’s suffered.

    The Republican party have become what you find at the bottom of a pond !

  2. Walt Minnick pretends he can see into the future. The truth is nobody really knows what the economy will be like in 30 years. It seems to follow trends.

    The G-20 summit called for balancing budgets. I honestly believe that our grandchildren will be little affected by Minnick’s allignment with corporate cronieism.

    In real-time Minnick has turned his vote over to the Republicans and allowed thousands of Idahoans to not not have political representation

    Come November the masses who have suffered because of Minnicks and the other conservatives will be remembered at the polls.

    In Real-Time people are not paying bills and desperatly need this career politician mentality to end.

  3. […] All four of Idaho’s members of Congress opposed the $34 billion, six-month unemployment extension because it didn’t include a way to pay for the program. […]

  4. Those of us who have not been able to find work are grateful that some had the courage to do the right thing, and vote to help good people who find themselves in a place that they never thought would happen. We wish that our politicians would think about people rather than a party line.

  5. […] and Simpson voted against a similar measure in July. Regarding that vote, Minnick told that he opposed the plan because it would […]

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