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Portman says he won't tell the House what to do with the unemployment bill
Ohio's senator says he talks with Boehner a lot, but not about this

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M.L. Schultze
Portman says the House may have its own thoughts on fighting chronic unemployment.
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Ohio’s Republican Sen. Rob Portman says he got much of what he wanted in an unemployment extension bill. But he balks at the idea that he should be pushing it through the House as well. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more.

LISTEN: Portman, unemployment and Boehner

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Portman and four other Republicans senators came up with a bill two weeks ago to extend – for five months -- federal emergency unemployment benefits. The extension would be retroactive to late December, when the benefits expired, and Portman expects it to pass the Senate next week. But in a conference call with reporters, Portman acknowledged he has not called fellow Ohioan, friend and House Speaker John Boehner to push the bill in the other house of Congress. 

“I talk to him all the time, but this is something that we’ve working on the staff level. My goal is to get this through the Senate, that’s been enough of a challenge. And then the House is going to do what it thinks is best. I’m not going to tell the House how to operate.
"I do believe that there is a way to work through this through an implementation point of view.  I also think the House may have some good ideas on how to reform unemployment insurance.”

Boehner last week said he had issues with the retroactivity of the benefits and claimed the bill doesn’t address causes of chronic joblessness.  

Portman says the bill met one of his criteria – that it is paid for. And he says there’s a commitment by both Republicans and Democrats to keep working on how to help people who are out-of-work long-term. 

Listener Comments:

I finally found a job after 10 mos. I'm supposed to start April 3. I can't because I have no clothing my shoes are falling apart .thanks bonehead. Because of the republicans no money to buy something to wear uc. Guess I'll just be homeless.go on welfare.can't wait to vote. Democratic in Nov. Get rid of you.

Posted by: Andrew (pa) on March 31, 2014 9:03AM
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