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Tom Ricker, Englevale, N.D., Published March 10 2014

Letter: Restore jobless benefits in Senate

The U.S. House Ways and Means committee issued a release showing the number of people who lost emergency unemployment benefits has grown to 2 million, including 2,377 North Dakotans, this week. Congress has failed to renew this important benefit, but there is hope that the Senate may take up legislation again in the next few weeks.

Estimates show that failure to extend unemployment benefits will cost the U.S. economy 240,000 jobs this year. Meanwhile, the House Republicans are poised to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act for the 50th time later this week. During the same time period, there has been zero votes on bills to create jobs from the Republican-controlled House.

Let’s hope the Senate can get their priorities straight even though the House has failed to do so.

Ricker is president, North Dakota AFL-CIO.