Congress Debates Extending Unemployment

Congress Debates Extending Unemployment

Photo: Newsradio WTAX

Illinois’ U.S. senators are split when it comes to extending emergency unemployment benefits.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) was one of 60 “yes” votes on Tuesday that warded off a potential filibuster. The measure would reinstate benefits for 81,000 people in Illinois who have exhausted their 26 weeks of benefits from the state. Those benefits were lost when Congress didn’t renew the program last year. Durbin says that has hurt families that were already struggling.

“This is basic and it’s humane,” Durbin said. “It used to be bipartisan before the Tea Party takeover of the Republican Party. I hope there are enough moderates on the Republican side to join us to make this a bipartisan issue again.”

U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) is on the opposite side, voting “no” on Tuesday. Kirk says the extension, which would cost $6.4 billion, should be offset with spending cuts elsewhere.

Democrats have said they’re open to offsetting cuts, but only once this three-month extension is approved.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Opponents Upset Chief Illiniwek Merchandise Still Available Online

u of i urbana

Assistant Athletic Director Marty Kaufmann says the items are available because there wasn't "any edict to wipe all history or tradition from our books."

in Local

Lisa Madigan Calls for More Compassion Towards Victims of Sex Crimes

Lisa Madigan

The state's Attorney General says a shift in attitude toward victims of rape, sexual assault, and other such crimes will lead toward more of these crimes being reported.

in Local

Arrest Made in the Murder of a Former Pleasant Plains Woman

kendra hatcher

One suspect is in jail and another is being sought in the murder of a former Springfield area woman.

in Local

Alleged Improprieties Force Out Two Parole Board Members

wtax 011015

Two members of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board have been removed in the wake of published reports of erroneous filings with the state and the federal government.

in Local

Rauner Addresses Concerns of State’s University Presidents


The Governor was in Urbana Friday to address the concerns of nine presidents over universities in Illinois.