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Congressional Democrats Pass Unemployment Extension, Blast GOP For Standing In The Way

July 27, 2010 by  

Congressional Democrats Pass Unemployment Extension, Blast GOP For Standing In The WayAfter weeks of querulous debate the Senate voted last week to restore the long-term jobless aid program and extend unemployment benefits to millions of Americans who have been out of work for more than six months.

The bill—which will provide monetary support to more than 2.5 million people whose Federal unemployment benefits expired on June 2—was ratified by the House on July 23, and is expected to be signed by President Obama in the coming days.

Soon after the vote House Democrats blasted Republicans in the Senate for continually blocking the passage of the measure, which is expected to add $34 billion to the national debt.

"The House acted in May, but for six weeks Senate Republicans blocked unemployment insurance," said Representative Sander Levin (D-Mich.). "They stood not on the side of, but in the way of, millions of Americans."

However, GOP lawmakers reiterated several times that they would have been happy to vote for the extension had it been paid for by last year’s economic stimulus package, rather than contributing to the nation’s already ballooning debt, according to The Washington Post.

"I haven’t heard anybody say we shouldn’t be extending unemployment benefits," said Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas). "The difference is one side wants to borrow 34 cents on the dollar, mainly from the Chinese, and send the bill to our children and our grandchildren."

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