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House nixes unemployment benefits extension

Nov. 18, 2010 at 7:33 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. House of Representatives Thursday rejected a bill that would have extended unemployment benefits for another three months.

The 258-154 vote was not enough to gain the two-thirds supermajority needed under the Democratic Party's fast-track procedures, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The bulk of the GOP caucus voted against the bill because its $12 billion cost was not offset with spending cuts elsewhere.

Four million Americans are set to lose their benefits when they expire Nov. 30. Thursday's bill would have extended those benefits to Feb. 28, 2011.

"The message to 4 million Americans will be the Republican Party doesn't care whether you have a Christmas or a way to fund your mortgage or a way to put food on the table for the next three months," said Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., The Wall Street Journal reported.

"What we heard earlier this month is that people want us to provide help to those in need but not add to the mountain of debt," said Rep. Charles Boustany Jr., R-La.

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