WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - Wisconsin’s two U.S. senators helped end the hold-up over a bill to restore federal money for unemployment benefits.
Democrats Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold were among the 60 who voted Tuesday to end a filibuster over the measure, and to hold a final vote on it. The House is expected to follow suit before the week ends.
About 50,000 unemployed Wisconsinites have had their benefits cut off since the federal payments expired on June 2nd. Those people used up their 26 weeks of state benefits, and were getting up to 73 more weeks of coverage that was funded by the federal stimulus package.
Democrats say about 5 million unemployed Americans need the jobless benefits to pay their mortgages. And they say it might help avoid another recession.
But Republicans say they won’t support the borrowing of tens of billions of dollars as the national debt keeps rising. Feingold said he would have preferred that the benefits be offset by other federal spending cuts. But he called the unemployment situation a “true emergency.”