98,000 Ohioans could lose jobless benefits by the end of June if Congress doesn’t act

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98,000 Ohioans could lose jobless benefits by the end of June if Congress doesn’t act

The Plain Dealer – CLEVELAND, Ohio — About 39,000 Ohioans are losing unemployment benefits that have helped pay their bills and feed their families as the recession drags on in Ohio.

The number could swell to 98,000 by month's end, the state says, and thousands also may have to give up their health insurance.

The reason is that both benefits expired in roughly the past two weeks. The House voted 215-204 on May 28 to extend the benefits, but the Senate left for Memorial Day without acting.

The delay reflects a growing debate about how long the government should continuee to support the unemployed at a time of rising budget deficits. Congress has extended unemployment benefits four times since 2008, but tolerance for the action clearly is ebbing.

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