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Unemployment extension should be its own bill, Snowe says
U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, is pushing Friday for the Senate to pass a separate provision authorizing the extension of federal unemployment insurance benefits:
The hundreds of thousands of unemployed Americans who are losing jobless benefits every week deserve our immediate attention, so I am writing today to urge you to bring a free-standing extension of unemployment insurance benefits to the Senate floor for a vote early next week. As of today, more than 1.2 million people out of work for longer than six months are ineligible for the next tier of extended benefits, which were originally provided by the economic stimulus bill to fight the recession.
Senate dithering has cost approximately 300,000 Americans unemployment insurance per week. The jobs bill paying for those benefits failed a cloture vote Thursday night. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., pulled the bill.