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Bunning's Blockade Affects People

March 2, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

McClaychy outlines some of the real-world impact of Sen. Jim Bunning [R, KY] continuing objections to a temporary extension of unemployment benefits and other expiring programs (H.R. 4691):

Federal projects shut down include more than $38 million in project funding for Idaho’s Nez Perce National Forest and Fernan Lakes Idaho Panhandle National Forest and $86 million for bridge replacements in the Washington, D.C., area. Bunning’s home state of Kentucky has no projects affected by his action.

However, nearly 1.2 million unemployed workers, including 14,000 in Kentucky, would lose federal jobless benefits this month if Congress doesn’t extend them, according to the National Employment Law Project, a liberal-leaning research group. The U.S. Labor Department estimates that about a third will lose benefits in the first two weeks of the month.

Letting the highway program lapse could mean an estimated 90,000 jobs lost. As many as 2 million families could lose access to local television because a copyright law expired overnight.

States hardest hit by the Monday cutoff, according to the law project, would be California, where an estimated 201,274 people could lose help, and Florida, where the total is an estimated 105,016. Other potential state totals: Georgia, 48,284; Texas, 82,850 and Illinois, 65,431

Meanwhile, Republicans are starting to call for Bunning to back off and let the extension go through.

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Comments

  • TheCarCzar 03/03/2010 9:35pm

    Will there be a Tier 5 of new unemployment insurance assistance Emergency Extended Benefits for the millions of people who are long-term unemployed, especially in states with high unemployment? If not, it seems to me there needs to be an amendment introduced to this Bill which cures this unfolding tragedy.

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