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Senator Coats on Latest Jobless Benefits Block Vote

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By Hilary Powell and The Associated Press

February 6, 2014 — For the second time this year, Republicans have blocked legislation from advancing in the Senate to restore benefits for the long-term unemployed.

In a statement released today, Senator Dan Coats, R-Ind., says he voted “no” to a debate on jobless benefits after disagreeing with senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

The Indiana Senator says Reid shut down any talk about amending the latest legislation. “I have consistently said that any extension of unemployment insurance benefits must be paid for responsibly and include credible reforms to improve the program,” Coats says in the statement.

The vote was 58-40, two shy of the 60 supporters the measure needed to prevail. Undeterred Democrats say they will try for a third time to push the bill through the Senate.

Local Democrats say an estimated 25,000 Hoosiers are set to lose benefits in the first half of 2014.

 

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