Senator Portman Urges Passage Of Compromise Bill to Restore Extended Jobless Benefits

U.S. Senator Rob Portman
U.S. Senator Rob Portman

Ohio Senator Rob Portman still has hopes a compromise agreement reached last week to restore benefits to the long-term unemployed will make it through Congress.

Portman was one of only five Republican Senators to sign onto the measure - just enough to, along with 55 Democrats, break a Republican filibuster.

"It's time for us to figure out as Republicans and Democrats not just how to attack one another, but also how to help these people who are unemployed, and how to actually get this economy moving," Portman said.

"Ultimately a rising economy is going to lift everybody up."

The agreement would add job training as a condition of receiving the extended benefits, and make them retroactive to January first. It would also require they be paid for with cuts elsewhere in the budget.

Portman, while signing on to the compromise measure, says the unemployment system must still be reformed to include more incentives to work.

Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown also signed on to the measure.

It's not clear that a similar bipartisan agreement can be reached in the House. Speaker John Boehner, also of Ohio, has not said whether he would bring such a measure to a vote. He was quoted last week as saying making benefits retroactive might be unworkable.

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