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Klobuchar, Franken push for an extension of unemployment and COBRA benefits

Washington, D.C. - Today U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken called for an extension of unemployment benefits and eligibility for the COBRA health insurance benefits before the end of the year. They joined 22 other Senators sending a lette...

Washington, D.C. - Today U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken called for an extension of unemployment benefits and eligibility for the COBRA health insurance benefits before the end of the year. They joined 22 other Senators sending a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, asking him to make the extension of these programs a "high priority" and pass them by December 31, 2009.

"In Minnesota and across the country, workers are struggling to find jobs," said Klobuchar. "Extending these benefits will help people continue their health care coverage under COBRA as they continue to look for work."

"Minnesotans are already hurting right now, and the expiration of the COBRA subsidy will make premiums so expensive that many families will be forced to drop their coverage. Now is not the time to put another burden on struggling families. During this recession, the last thing Congress should do is pull the plug on benefits before folks have had a chance to get back to work," said Franken.

Nationally, one million workers could lose jobless benefits in January if this program is not extended before the end of the year. By March, three million unemployed individuals would lose federal jobless benefits. The national unemployment rate is 10 percent. The Minnesota unemployment rate is 7.6 percent. In November, Klobuchar and Franken worked to secure an additional 14 weeks of benefits for jobless workers in Minnesota.

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