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Klobuchar touts unemployment insurance as Senate returns to work

WASHINGTON — The Senate is set to vote on extending the emergency unemployment insurance program for three months.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar: "Rather than removing the safety net Americans rely on, we should be focused on policies that help people get back to work."
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
  • The Congressional Budget Office says extending the program would boost the GDP by .2 percent and reduce unemployment by 200,000 in 2013;
  • The current 2.6 percent long-term unemployment rate (for those unemployed for 26 weeks or more) is double what it’s been each of the last two times lawmakers let unemployment insurance end, in March 2004 and April 1994;
  • More than 23.9 million people have used the program since it was instituted in 2008, though it’s impacted 45 million people living with those beneficiaries in that time;
  • When the program expired, 1.3 million workers lost benefits, and that number could rise to 4.9 million this year as unemployed workers become ineligible for their state coverage.
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Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com. Follow him on Twitter: @dhenry