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Civil Rights Coalition Urges Senate To Extend Jobless Benefits

Posted by Antoine Morris, civilrights.org

The Senate leadership is likely to try again this week to bring a bill to the floor that will extend unemployment insurance and COBRA benefits, after losing two procedural votes last week.

The failure to garner enough votes was due to opposition from some senators concerned about the deficit, even after modifications were made that significantly reduced benefits for millions of Americans.

In a letter to the Senate last week, The Leadership Conference urged the Senate to support the legislation and extend jobless benefits through the end of the year, stating that doing so "will help the economy recover while providing badly needed assistance in today's historic economic crisis."

The Senate Democratic leadership has expressed commitment to passing a bill.  At a June 10 Jobs for America Now press conference Senator Bob Casey, D. Pa., said it would be "unforgivable" if this legislation continues to be blocked because these benefits are too important to the American dream to sacrifice.

The current extensions of these jobless provisions expired June 2, 2010, for the unemployment programs and May 31, 2010, for COBRA.  Nearly 1.2 million workers this month will lose unemployment benefits by the end of this week, and at least 140,000 workers will lose COBRA benefits because Congress failed to pass an extension. 

 



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