Republican Senator Blocking Unemployment and COBRA Benefits

Inexplicably, Republican Senator Jim Bunning has held up a much-needed extension of unemployment and COBRA benefits. Bunning has single-handily blocked a vote on a 30-day extension by being the only senator to oppose a unanimous consent motion to vote on the bill, which was passed earlier by the House. The extended benefits are scheduled to expire today.

Thousands may lose benefits because of Bunning -- how many depending on how quickly Democrats can force a vote on the bill. This callous disregard of the needs of working class Americans is outrageous, as are Senate rules which allow a single Senator to hold up such essential legislation.

The stress of losing a job is hard enough, and has been shown to create adverse health effects, but the least the government can do is provide unemployment benefits in a timely manner.