Pelosi: No Tier V for Unemployment Benefits

One of the enduring confusions amid the debate over extending unemployment benefits revolves around the fact that the Democrats’ proposals don’t actually extend UI benefits at all. They simply extend the filing deadline to apply for existing benefits.

That dynamic hasn’t been lost on a growing number of unemployed folks who have exhausted all available assistance, and many of them are pushing for additional tiers of emergency help. Yesterday, though, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) indicated that Tier V advocates shouldn’t hold their breath.

Asked by a reporter if Democrats “foresee having another tier of expanded benefits,” Pelosi responded:

Not — not — no.  This bill will go into the end of November.  At that time we will take up something, but not between now and then.

Pelosi also noted that local politics are playing at least as much of a role as ideology in the debate over whether Congress should extend even existing benefits.

“The phenomenon or the situation that I see is that members who are from low-unemployment areas are very concerned about the deficit,” Pelosi said. “Members who are from high-unemployment areas are very concerned about the jobs.”