With the jobless rate hovering just over 7 percent, congressional Republicans said Tuesday that they are ready to let emergency unemployment benefits lapse on Dec. 31, immediately cutting off checks to more than a million recipients.

“I don’t see much appetite from our side for an extension of benefits. I just don’t,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a close ally of House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and a member of the budget conference committee tasked with cutting a year-end deal on spending

The conference panel, headed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.), was closing in on a deal to avoid another government shutdown in January and ease the sharp spending cuts known as the sequester, according to senior aides in both parties.

Read it at The Washington Post.