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Democrats Want Jobless Benefits in “Fiscal Cliff” Deal

Millions of unemployed Americans have another reason to worry about “fiscal cliff” budget talks that seek to avoid looming tax increases and dire spending cuts come January.

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About 2.1 million people will stop receiving jobless benefits immediately if Congress doesn’t reauthorize federal unemployment insurance programs by year’s end. Another 1 million will lose benefits over the first three months of 2013.

White House officials have assured Democrats that President Barack Obama is committed to extending benefits for another year. Obama has proposed the $30 billion extension as part of ongoing negotiations over cutting federal deficits.

Republicans generally have avoided talking about the issue so far. But many GOP lawmakers have resisted the idea of more jobless aid without additional spending cuts to offset the cost.

 

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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