Updated: Friday, 25 Jun 2010, 3:54 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 25 Jun 2010, 7:32 AM EDT
BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) - Unemployment benefits could soon disappear because Senate Republicans shot down a measure to extend them. Linda Thompson is just one of the many Americans who may lose her jobless benefits.
"I don't know what I'm going to to. Pray?" Linda says.
Senate Republicans shot down a measure Thursday that would've extended unemployment checks for more than a million people out of work more than six months. It would've also provided billions in aid for cash-strapped states.
"It's too bad that after 8 weeks, the American people got what the Republicans give so much - a big 'No'," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Democrats cut billions from the bill but that wasn't enough to convince Republicans. They argued it would've added $30 billion to the deficit.
"The biggest reason the cloture vote we just had failed is because Democrats refuse to pass a bill that doesn't add to the debt," said Sen. Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader.
New York is one of dozens of states who were counting on the extra money to help balance their budgets. Without the bill many lawmakers fear tens of thousands of workers will lose their jobs.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "It would've been the money that kept teachers employed, our emergency workers, our police officers, our firefighters."
Democrats hope political pressure from outraged voters may eventually help revive the bill. As for 61 year old Linda, she was living on $1,700 in unemployment checks and thought she had months still to find a job.
"I'm gonna have to pack up and move and I don't know where I'm gonna go. I'm scared," she said.
Her only focus now is survival.
According to the State Labor department, 55,000 are unemployed across Western New York.