That Washington

Cantwell Hammers GOP Over Unemployment Insurance

By Josh Feit December 1, 2010

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell blasted the Republicans today for blocking an emergency extension of unemployment insurance. The benefits expired today.

Cantwell said:
“Cutting off critical unemployment benefits amid the deepest recession in generations and the holiday season is unconscionable and bad economic policy.  Every day, millions of Americans out of work through no fault of their own are searching for new employment in an environment where there is only one job available for every five job seekers.  Extending unemployment compensation also helps our overall economy.  Every dollar allocated increases economic output by $1.60 because recipients spend it right away to meet basic needs.”

I have a call into the senate Republicans for a response.

Cantwell goes on to point out that the senate hasn't let unemployment benefits expire in over 40 years when the unemployment rate is over 7.2 percent. The rate is currently 9.6  nationwide.

Extending unemployment insurance was at issue last summer during the election fight between U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), who supported it, and her GOP opponent Dino Rossi, who opposed it.

Rossi's objection at the time? The Democrats weren't identifying how to pay for the $33 billion price tag.
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