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The cost of unemployment extension delay adding up in Iowa
The U.S. Department of Labor released state-by-state numbers earlier this month on how many workers have been cumulatively affected by Congress’ inability to extend long-term unemployment benefits. By weeks end, around 14,200 Iowans will have lost their benefits, with a nationwide total of 2.5 million.
The nonpartisan Iowa Fiscal Partnership estimated last month that 44,000 Iowans saw an immediate reduction in benefits starting at the end of May, when Congress allowed unemployment benefits to expire over the course of the month. About 1,500 to 2,000 Iowans began losing all benefits each week.
Democrats are expecting West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin to name a replacement for U.S. Sen. Robert Bryd, D-W.Va., Friday, meaning the Senate can again take up the long-stalled unemployment-benefits extension with the replacement being a likely 60th vote to overcome a Republican-led filibuster. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs predicted the Senate will pass an extension of unemployment benefits sometime next week
Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, have argued that they would support an extension to benefits if it were deficit neutral, saying they refuse to add to the nation’s debt.