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Orszag Curiously Circumspect About Unemployment Insurance Extension (VIDEO)

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Appearing on the Charlie Rose show Tuesday night, White House budget chief Peter Orszag was surprisingly noncommittal about the idea of extending unemployment insurance to people whose benefits have run out.

Despite Republican stalling in the Senate, the passage of a 13-week extension of
unemployment insurance benefits appears inevitable. [Update: Late Wednesday, it passed the Senate.]

It's the sort of thing you would expect the Obama White House to be excited about - a popular measure that will help people in need, and serve as a bit of a stimulus to boot.

But Orszag initially hesitated in expressing support for the legislation, and then only said he "expected" there to be some extension of unemployment benefits.

And when Rose asked if any members of the administration, particularly top economic advisor Larry Summers, are against the extension, Orszag initially sidestepped the question -- "I don't want to speak about the views of individual member of the economic team or other parts of the administration" -- before saying, "I have not heard any commentary suggesting that anyone is opposed to extending unemployment benefits."

I don't want to speak about the views of individual members of the economics team or other parts of the administration, but I don't think that's the view that's coming from the administration or, frankly, from any members of the economics team... I don't think, I have not heard any commentary suggesting that anyone is opposed to extending unemployment benefits.

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