Senate considering Tester’s plan to save taxpayers $6 billion by ending temporary benefit

Language would cut costs ‘without yanking carpet out from under unemployed’

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The U.S. Senate is considering a measure by Senator Jon Tester to save taxpayers billions of dollars by trimming back a temporary increase in unemployment assistance.

Tester’s plan would eliminate an additional $25 that was added temporarily to emergency weekly benefits following the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February of 2009.  Tester said the $25 addition to unemployment checks was meant to be temporary, and removing it strikes a balance that will save significant money without “leaving jobless Americans in the lurch.”

“This will save taxpayers billions of dollars without yanking the carpet out from under Americans who are looking for work—folks who are already struggling to stay on their feet,” Tester said.  “This is a real way to save money.  And it’s part of a commitment I have to look carefully for options to get the national deficit under control.”

Tester’s measure is estimated to save taxpayers $6 billion based on U.S. Department of Labor estimates from earlier this year.

Tester initially offered his plan as a “stand alone” amendment to the unemployment insurance bill.  After receiving substantial support, Tester’s language is now included in the overall bill being considered on the Senate floor.

Earlier this year, Tester voted to support the creation of a bipartisan commission to cut the national deficit.

Tester’s amendment is available on his website, HERE.