Yarmuth Says Jobless Benefits Extension is Crucial for Kentucky Economy

by Stephanie Crosby

Congressman John Yarmuth of Louisville says the longer Congress takes to act on an extension of unemployment benefits to millions of jobless Americans, the more Kentucky suffers.

Democrats on Capitol Hill want to extend jobless benefits by six months, at a cost of $34-billion. A number of Senate Republicans, including Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, are holding up the measure, saying they want to make sure spending is cut elsewhere to fund the extension.

Yarmuth wants to add the cost to the deficit, saying there’s no time to waste.

“The ramifications for Kentucky are enormous,” says Yarmuth. “If we don’t act soon, within a couple weeks, 125-thousand people in Kentucky will have lost their unemployment benefits, at roughly a thousand dollars a month per person, that’s $125-million that will not be spent in the Kentucky economy per month.”

Todd Lally, Yarmuth’s Republican opponent in the general election, says he’d oppose the extension as it stands now.

“If we could get it in through the pay-go rules, and we could find a way to fund it, then I’d be more open to it,” says Lally, “but to take on additional debt at this point, with our debt as high as it is, I think that would be a bad move.”

Yarmuth made his remarks on today’s State of Affairs.