A roundup of some of the more unusual items that crossed our desk recently.
DES MOINES, Iowa, April 7 -- The Iowa Democratic Party issued the following news release:
While the Iowa GOP Senate candidates are eager to talk about their opposition to an increased minimum wage (http://www.iowademocrats.org/2014/03/icymi-think-progress-clovis-doesnt-think-the-government-should-set-a-minimum-wage/), the Farm Bill (http://www.iowademocrats.org/2014/02/release-ernsts-true-colors-revealed-opposes-farm-bill/) and financial protections (http://www.iowademocrats.org/2014/03/mark-jacobs-will-let-wall-street-run-free/) for consumers, they remain silent on the key issue in front of the U.S. Senate: reinstating unemployment insurance for more than 13,000 Iowans.
Since the beginning of the year, more than two million Americans have been fighting to survive without unemployment insurance, costing the national economy $3 billion in January and February alone. Yet while the U.S. Senate today is poised to approve a bipartisan deal to restore the benefits, Sam Clovis, Joni Ernst, Mark Jacobs and Matt Whitaker refuse to offer any comment on how they would vote on this issue or how they would help the thousands of Iowans struggling to get by.
"It appears that if you're not an out-of-state oil billionaire or member of the Tea Party, the GOP Senate candidates have little to say about strengthening your economic opportunities," said Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Scott Brennan. "More than 13,000 Iowans are fighting every day just to survive without unemployment insurance, but Republicans would much rather talk about corporate tax breaks and letting Wall Street run free than restoring a vital lifeline to Iowa's families. Iowans want a Senator who tackles their challenges head on, not someone who pretends these problems don't exist."
The expiration of emergency federal unemployment insurance at the end 2013 has already had a devastating impact on Iowa's families and our economy. Every week, 700 additional Iowans lose their insurance, a weekly average benefit of $325. By the end of the year, more than 35,000 Iowans could be affected. Without action, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that 200,000 jobs nationwide will be lost.
Every Week 700 Iowans Lose Their Unemployment Insurance As A Result Of Not Extending Emergency Benefits For The Long-Term Unemployed. According to the House Ways and Means Committee, 700 Iowans per week lose their unemployment insurance as a result of Congress' failure to pass an extension of emergency benefits. [House Ways and Means Committee, 12/30/13]
CBPP: Because Of Congress' Failure To Extend Unemployment Insurance, By The End Of 2014 35,500 Iowans Will Lose Their Benefits. According to a December 2013 report titled, "Failure to Extend Unemployment Benefits Will Hurt Jobless Workers in Every State," 35,500 Iowans will lose access to unemployment insurance as a result of Congress' failure to extend emergency unemployment insurance. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 12/11/13]
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