Yarmuth Says Jobless Benefits Extension is Crucial for Kentucky Economy

by scrosby on July 12, 2010

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.

Comments Closed

{ 1 comment }

andward July 12, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Yarmuth is right. McConnell is out of touch with Kentuckians and Americans.

Todd Lally is not responding for obvious reasons. He knows extending UI is the right thing to do, but is afraid of being ostracized by his party for not contributing to their efforts to help the Obama administration (and America by extension) fail.

Obama will fail on his own. Congress’s job is to do the will of the people. The will of the people is clearly for UI extensions as deficit spending NOW.

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