Filibuster affecting millions on unemployment

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Dealing with a record federal deficit and unemployment rate has created a Catch-22 for Congress. The Senate is now battling whether to extend emergency unemployment benefits -- and add to the deficit.. A filibuster has now stalled an extension impacting 900,000 now whose benefits have lapsed and up to 2 million more jobless next month.

The Washington Post
says more than 40% of the unemployed have been without work for six months and almost a quarter of them have been jobless for a year or longer.

States usually pay the first 26 weeks of unemployment benefits and then the federal government picks up additional weeks during times of high unemployment. Benefits currently can last up to 99 weeks. But the federal government's emergency benefits expired on June 1, and the Senate has been unable to muster the 60 votes needed to reinstate it.

Without congressional action, more than 2 million stand to lose unemployment benefits by July 10. Part of what's creating a logjam is a package that would close tax loopholes as a way to pay for extending the benefits. The Senate was to continue its consideration of that bill today.
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