WASHINGTON, March 19 (UPI) -- U.S. House Speaker John Boehner released a statement Wednesday suggesting he does not intend to move the Senate bill extending long-term unemployment benefits.
Boehner, R-Ohio, responded to a letter from the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, Roll Call said. State officials warned that even if the bill passes. there would be months of delays before any benefits go out.
Even if the bill is voted on and approved next week, the retroactive legislation requires means-testing of recipients, claims cross-checked with an Internal Revenue Service database and other delays. In most states it would take one to three months, past the June 1 expiration of the current bill, for checks to arrive in the hands of the unemployed, the association said.
"We have always said that we're willing to look at extending emergency unemployment benefits again, if Washington Democrats can come up with a plan that is fiscally-responsible, and gets to the root of the problem by helping to create more private-sector jobs," Boehner said. "There is no evidence that the bill being rammed through the Senate by leader Reid meets that test, and according to these state directors, the bill is also simply unworkable,"
Letters to senators noted that last year 19 states took more than a month to implement a sequestration benefit reduction bill, and many states would not have the necessary changes to their unemployment insurance laws in place after the current federal law expires, Roll Call reported.