Sen. Dean Heller to Encourage Boehner to Pass Unemployment-Insurance Extension Today

The Nevada Republican says he’ll tell the speaker: “It’s important that we get this done.”

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 23: Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) (L) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speak about the ''No Budget No Pay'' legislation during a news conference on Capitol Hill, January 23, 2013 in Washington, DC. The bipartisan legislation would require members of Congress to pass a budget in order to receive their pay.
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Sarah Mimms
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Sarah Mimms
April 29, 2014, 9:26 a.m.

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., will meet with Speak­er John Boehner later Tues­day to en­cour­age the House to re­new un­em­ploy­ment-in­sur­ance be­ne­fits for mil­lions of job­less Amer­ic­ans.

Heller said he is not cer­tain wheth­er the two will meet in per­son or speak by phone, but that he would press the speak­er to take up le­gis­la­tion passed by the Sen­ate earli­er this month. That bill would re­new the be­ne­fits through the end of May and provide ret­ro­act­ive checks for the long-term un­em­ployed who have lost their be­ne­fits since the pro­gram ex­pired Dec. 28.

Asked what he plans to tell the speak­er, Heller said: “Let’s move this le­gis­la­tion.”¦ It’s im­port­ant that we get this done.”

Boehner has long said he will not bring the le­gis­la­tion to the House floor without a sep­ar­ate jobs bill at­tached. He has also ex­pressed re­ser­va­tions about the re­im­burse­ment checks, cit­ing a let­ter from the Na­tion­al As­so­ci­ation of State Work­force Agen­cies that in­dic­ated that states could have trouble provid­ing ret­ro­act­ive be­ne­fits. Many states have stopped keep­ing track of be­ne­fi­ciar­ies since the pro­gram ex­pired, the as­so­ci­ation wrote.

But Heller has ex­pressed some op­tim­ism, not­ing that a hand­ful of House Re­pub­lic­ans sup­port the bill and have writ­ten to Boehner ask­ing for a floor vote.

Still, the clock is tick­ing. With the Sen­ate bill slated to ex­pire at the end of May, the House has little time to act. But Heller said the ret­ro­act­ive be­ne­fits alone are im­port­ant enough to keep mov­ing for­ward. “Of course I’m con­cerned about [the pack­age ex­pir­ing]. And I want the House to move on that right away. But, yeah, that’s a con­cern.”¦ We need to get this ret­ro­act­ively done to help these fam­il­ies that need the money,” he said.

Asked wheth­er he be­lieves the speak­er is open to mov­ing on the Sen­ate bill, Heller said: “I’ll find out this af­ter­noon.”

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