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Update: White House Lays Blame on Republican Lawmaker for Senate's Failure to Extend Unemployment Benefits

The White House has taken another opportunity to blast Republican Senator Jim Bunning for obstructing a crucial vote on extending unemployment benefits.

In his daily briefing with reporters, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs echoed remarks made earlier Friday by Vice President Biden.  Both Gibbs and Biden expressed outrage over Bunning's successful attempt to derail a Senate package that would fund unemployment benefits set to expire on Sunday.

Gibbs called Bunning's objection "fundamentally not fair" adding, "these are the types of games that the American people fail to understand. " 

 

The vice president went after Bunning at an event Friday morning where he was touting the accomplishments of the White House's Middle Class Task Force, which he heads.  Biden lamented that despite the work of the task force and efforts by the White House and Capitol Hill to help middle class families, he was "disappointed" by one lawmaker's actions.  "Right now a single republican is blocking the extension of unemployment insurance which means if he succeeds one million people, one million people next month will be thrown off the unemployment rolls," Biden said.

 

The Senate will take up a broader bill on Monday that it expects to pass by week's end.  But because some states don't cut unemployment benefits checks in advance, some people will fail to receive payments until Congress takes action.

The White House laid the blame solely on Bunning who Gibbs said threw out "all measure of common sense" and hurt hundreds of thousands of Americans."