The U.S. Department of Labor released state-by-state numbers earlier this month on how many workers have been cumulatively affected by Congress’ inability to extend long-term unemployment benefits. By weeks end, around 21,600 Minnesotans will have lost their benefits, with a nationwide total of 2.5 million.
Democrats are expecting West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin to name a replacement for U.S. Sen. Robert Bryd, D-W.Va., Friday, meaning the Senate can again take up the long-stalled unemployment-benefits extension with the replacement being a likely 60th vote to overcome a Republican-led filibuster. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs predicted the Senate will pass an extension of unemployment benefits sometime next weekRepublicans, including U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, have argued that they would support an extension to benefits if it were deficit neutral, saying they refuse to add to the nation’s debt.