BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) - Unemployment benefits could soon disappear because SenateRepublicans shot down a measure to extend them. Linda Thompson isjust one of the many Americans who may lose her joblessbenefits.
"I don't know what I'm going to to. Pray?" Linda says.
Senate Republicans shot down a measure Thursday that would'veextended unemployment checks for more than a million people out ofwork more than six months. It would've also provided billions inaid for cash-strapped states.
"It's too bad that after 8 weeks, the American people got whatthe Republicans give so much - a big 'No'," said Senate MajorityLeader Harry Reid.
Democrats cut billions from the bill but that wasn't enough toconvince Republicans. They argued it would've added $30 billion tothe deficit.
"The biggest reason the cloture vote we just had failed isbecause Democrats refuse to pass a bill that doesn't add to thedebt," said Sen. Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader.
New York is one of dozens of states who were counting on theextra money to help balance their budgets. Without the bill manylawmakers fear tens of thousands of workers will lose theirjobs.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "It would've been the moneythat kept teachers employed, our emergency workers, our policeofficers, our firefighters."
Democrats hope political pressure from outraged voters mayeventually help revive the bill. As for 61 year old Linda, she wasliving on $1,700 in unemployment checks and thought she had monthsstill to find a job.
"I'm gonna have to pack up and move and I don't know where I'mgonna go. I'm scared," she said.
Her only focus now is survival.
According to the State Labor department, 55,000 are unemployedacross Western New York.
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