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White House says open to finding budget offsets for benefits extension

U.S. President Barack Obama announces the nomination of Jason Furman to be the new chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors in
U.S. President Barack Obama announces the nomination of Jason Furman to be the new chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors in

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration is open to finding a way to offset the budgetary costs of extending emergency jobless benefits, a top official said on Friday.

White House economic adviser Jason Furman said economists generally believe programs like emergency jobless benefits need not be funded by making cuts to other programs or through revenue hikes.

"But certainly if what Congress wants to do is pay for it, that's something that we could work with them on," Furman told Reuters in an interview.

Emergency jobless benefits for 1.3 million long-term unemployed people are set to run out on January 1 unless U.S. politicians agree on an extension.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Jason Lange; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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