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WASHINGTON – As Congress raced to leave Washington for its Easter recess, a Republican senator blocked a stopgap bill to extend jobless benefits, saying its $9 billion cost should not be added to the national debt.
As a result, some people who have been out of work for more than six months will at least temporarily lose benefits. Newly jobless people won't be eligible to sign up for generous health insurance subsidies.
At the center of the battle is Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who's insisting that the measure be "paid for" so as not to add to the nation's $12.7 trillion debt. "What we are doing is stealing future opportunity from our children," Coburn said Thursday.
Republicans offered legislation to finance the monthlong extension of jobless benefits by rescinding unspent money from last year's economic stimulus bill. The effort was killed on a party-line vote.
Will the bashers show up on their massive horses???