Reid is 'cautiously optimistic' emergency jobless aid could be restored

David LightmanTribune News Service

A Senate effort to reinstate emergency unemployment benefits could begin again later this week.

"I remain cautiously optimistic that Republicans will heed their constituents at home and help Democrats restore emergency benefits to Americans in need," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, told the Senate Monday.

Benefits expired Dec. 28, and the Senate has been deadlocked over how to proceed. Democrats have maintained that extending the aid is an emergency and does not need an offset; most Republican disagree.

Talks are continuing, and Reid offered some hope Monday.

"Congress can’t solve every problem. But we can solve this one," he said. "All we have to do is work together – Democrats and Republicans – to do what is right for our constituents, our country and our economy."

David Lightman
McClatchy Washington Bureau