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January 5th, 2014
12:06 PM ET

Reid says Republican demand for offsets on unemployment benefits is "foolishness"

Washington (CNN) – Senate Leader Harry Reid said Sunday he would not consider the Republican demand for offsets to pay for extending long-term unemployment benefits, calling the idea “foolishness.”

On Sunday, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner told CNN State of the Union’s Susan Garraty that the Republican leader will insist there be offsets before he agrees to extending long term unemployment benefits.  Republican Senator Rand Paul (KY) said on ABC’s This Week that also said that Congress needs to figure out a way to pay for the benefits before he agrees to extend them.

“I'm opposed to having it without paying for it. I think it's wrong to borrow money from china or simply print up money for it,” Paul said.

But as he left CBS’ studio following an appearance on the show, Sen. Reid told CNN’s Alison Harding he is against offsets.

“We have never offset emergency spending. That’s foolishness. We have people who are desperate. They have been out of work for some as much as two years. We have reduced the debt by 3 trillion dollars. Let’s start helping the middle class. Let’s start helping the poor. The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer. The middle class is being squeezed out of existence. They have to figure out some other message than one that doesn’t agree with the American people. The American people want unemployment benefits extended. That’s it. Let them agree with the American people.”

Filed under: State of the Union
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