Rangel, DeMint support extending benefits

Aug. 2, 2009 at 12:51 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- A senior Democratic U.S. lawmaker and a Republican counterpart said Sunday they support extending unemployment benefits for laid-off workers.

U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., a leader of congressional conservatives, agreed on "Fox News Sunday" that benefits should be extended as the unemployment rate is expected to pass 10 percent.

"There's no question, and they deserve it," Rangel said. "They are the true victims of this fiscal disaster. And I do hope that the Republicans will come forward and realize by giving assistance to these people, they're allowing them to be able to put food on the table, to pay their rent and their mortgages."

Rangel, addressing DeMint, added, "I hope that Jim would get the Republicans to work with us so that it's not a Democrat plan, but it's an American congressional plan."

After asserting that Democratic-backed proposals to reform healthcare would hurt efforts to create new jobs, DeMint agreed with extending jobless benefits. "We'll definitely support that," he said.

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