Sen. Richard Burr is joining a group of other Republican U.S. senators who have offered an alternative plan to pay for three months of emergency unemployment benefits. Their plan also would repeal cuts in benefits to military retirees under age 62.
Burr announced his support on his Facebook page. The plan would pay for the changes by ending a program that can allow illegal immigrants to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has postponed a vote on the jobless benefits bill until Thursday, reportedly to give time for work on a compromise. The $6.4 billion jobless benefits extension includes a provision that would bring North Carolina back into the federal program, despite its reductions to the state jobless program that the legislature made last summer. The Democratic bill to extend jobless benefits has no offset.
The Republican senators said in a statement that their plan "would make a simple fix to the U.S. tax code to require filers to have Social Security Numbers in order to qualify for the Additional Child Tax Credit, which the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates would save approximately $20 billion over 10 years."
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Other sponsors include Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., John Hoeven, R-N.D., Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lindsey Graham, R- S.C.