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House Votes Against Jobless Benefits Extension

Photo Courtesy - ABC News Radio(WASHINGTON) -- The House of Representatives voted Thursday afternoon against extending federal unemployment benefits another 90 days, leaving the jobless benefits of about four million Americans in jeopardy with the current relief set to expire just after Thanksgiving.

The legislation would have cost about $12.5 billion to extend the deadline to file for federal unemployment benefits from Dec. 1 until Feb. 28.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi blamed Republicans in the House for blocking the extension and pledged to continue working towards a short-term extension before the current benefits expire Nov. 30.

“The American people, struggling with high unemployment, continue to look to their leaders for a lifeline until they can get back to work.  Today, Democrats voted to extend unemployment insurance to Americans who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Unfortunately, Republicans did not,” Pelosi, D-California, stated. “Our first priority is to create jobs; the American people want to get back to work. Unemployment Insurance is a proven economic booster, returning $2 into the economy for every $1 invested.  We will continue to work for an emergency short-term extension to get families through the holidays and to work for longer term solutions as well.”

The bill was brought to the floor under the rules of suspension, requiring a two-thirds majority to pass, but fell 17 votes short with a final tally of 258-154.

The current benefits are scheduled to expire Nov. 30, so the House will still have two legislative days to try to prevent the benefits from expiring when Congress returns to finish the lame-duck session after Thanksgiving.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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