White House says open to finding budget offsets for benefits extension

WASHINGTON Fri Dec 6, 2013 10:40am EST

U.S. President Barack Obama announces the nomination of Jason Furman to be the new chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, June 10, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing

U.S. President Barack Obama announces the nomination of Jason Furman to be the new chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, June 10, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration is open to finding a way to offset the budgetary costs of extending emergency jobless benefits, a top official said on Friday.

White House economic adviser Jason Furman said economists generally believe programs like emergency jobless benefits need not be funded by making cuts to other programs or through revenue hikes.

"But certainly if what Congress wants to do is pay for it, that's something that we could work with them on," Furman told Reuters in an interview.

Emergency jobless benefits for 1.3 million long-term unemployed people are set to run out on January 1 unless U.S. politicians agree on an extension.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Jason Lange; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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Comments (4)
willich6 wrote:
Where is the emergency Jason? Jobless rate just fell to 7% as economy added 203K jobs last month. We need lower Federal spending…

Dec 06, 2013 5:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:
I have a better solution. Kill the immigration bill and gives the millions of unfilled jobs to unemployed Americans. 2 birds, 1 stone.

Dec 06, 2013 5:47pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This is a no-win situation for taxpayers. This benefits extension is five years in the making and was supposed to be temporary under times of duress. The 2% decrease in payroll taxes was a temporary relief that lawmakers allowed to expire last year. They had no problem with that.

Dec 07, 2013 4:35am EST  --  Report as abuse
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