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Portman says his unemployment compromise works even for a short extension
Ohio senator says eliminating double-dipping is good policy
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


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M.L. Schultze
 
Ohio's U.S. Sen. Rob Portman is key in negotiations over an unemployment extension compromise.
Courtesy of FILE PHOTO KEVIN NIEDERMIER
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In The Region:

Ohio’s Republican senator continues to play a key role in negotiations over the extension of unemployment benefits. And Rob Portman is rejecting one key argument from Democrats over his proposed compromise. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the role of Rob Portman.

LISTEN: Portman and the compromise

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Rob Portman thinks he can come up with nearly $6 billion over 10 years to pay for a three-month extension of federal unemployment benefits.

The money would come from eliminating double dipping: people collecting unemployment benefits and disability payments at the same time.

Democratic Senate President Harry Reid says if a long-term fix is applied, than the unemployment extension should be longer-term, too.

But Portman says that ignores a crucial point:

“My view on this one is really simple: It may take 10 years to get all the savings but if it’s the right policy, let’s’ go ahead and do it now. The history has been if you do something like this, it tends not to be reversed because it’s good policy. If you just put a cap in place, those tend not to hold.”

Portman maintains that Democrats were the ones originally pushing for just a short-term extension so they’d have time to increase worker retraining as part of the unemployment benefits program.  

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