(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
With an unemployment extension stalled in the House, Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez sent a letter to Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, offering to negotiate on a range of job-creation measures and urging the speaker to act.
But Perez said the extension should not have to wait.
“You have indicated that [Emergency Unemployment Compensation] should only be extended in combination with job-creation measures, but EUC is itself an effective job creation tool,” Perez said in the letter sent Wednesday.
Perez said the decision not to extend unemployment benefits has so far cost 80,000 jobs and will cost an estimated 240,000 jobs by the end of the year. He also offered to negotiate additional job creation measures.
“In addition to the large job creation impacts of unemployment insurance, the Administration would welcome the opportunity to work with you on several job creation measures that Congress could pass together with the EUC extension. For example, we are eager to work on bipartisan legislation to fix our immigration system, simplify the tax code for businesses, support transportation reauthorization, and modernize our skills and job training programs,” Perez wrote.
The letter didn’t impress the speaker’s office.
“Secretary Perez, and the entire Obama administration, have been aware of House Republicans’ position on this issue since December of last year: We need a fiscally responsible package that also helps to create more private-sector jobs,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in a statement. “This letter – once again – does not include such a plan.” Full story