Barney Frank States the Obvious: Unemployment Benefits Could Have Passed Without Tax Deal
Barney Frank suggests unemployment benefits could have passed without the Obama-McConnell tax deal. According to Frank, "It's totally unbalanced.... unemployment shouldn't be considered a concession they give to us." Unemployment benefits have been passed some four or five times since 2008. Frank reminds us what happened the last time a Republican tried to hold up an extension.
Frank reminded HuffPost of how it was when Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) blocked a renewal of jobless aid in February. The media treated it as an outrage, and members of his own party begged Bunning to stop. Gradually, though, his insistence on "paying for" federally-funded benefits became a mainstream GOP position. Frank said Democrats should have made an effort to have that fight again.
"I don't know what the end would have been but I don't think we tried hard enough to make it clear that they were the ones obstructing," he said. "I think we should have had that debate for a couple weeks."
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Wednesday that Republicans would have allowed a short reauthorization even without the tax cut deal.