One GOP Senator Blocks Unemployment Assistance As Clock Runs Out On Benefits For One Million Americans, Including More Than 200,000 Californians

California Democrats Call On Republican Senate Candidates Fiorina, Campbell and DeVore To Stand Against Hurtful GOP Obstructionism and Political Gamesmanship

Sacramento – In Washington, D.C. today, GOP Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky single-handedly held up jobless benefits for more than one million Americans, including more than 200,000 Californians who are without jobs and will lose benefits starting on Monday, March 1, 2010.

Last year’s stimulus bill included additional weeks of unemployment benefits as well as COBRA health coverage assistance. That extension is set to expire on Sunday, February 28. The Senate adjourned for the weekend without taking action, after efforts to persuade the Republican Senator to drop his objection to the extension were unsuccessful.

"More than 200,000 people here in California stand to lose their unemployment benefits when they need them most," said John Burton, chairman of the California Democratic Party. "Democrats are fighting tooth and nail to get people back to work and to make sure there is help for Californians who have been hurt by this economic disaster. Republicans running for Senate here in California ought to state clearly that they are opposed to this callous action and let voters know where they stand when it comes to helping Californians in need."

According to news reporters, Senate debate dragged on until close to midnight as Senators attempted to overcome Senator Bunning’s objection. He is reported to have complained about missing a basketball game while the debate took place.

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