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Senator pleads with GOP to “Do the right thing” with jobless benefits (video)

Senator Malcolm Graham appealed to his colleagues again on Wednesday to pass a clean bill extending federal jobless benefits to 46,000 long-term unemployed North Carolinians.

The Mecklenburg County Democrat told the Senate the federal benefits extension had no place in the state budget bill.

Senator Tom Apodaca responded that the quickest way for Democrats to “do the right thing” would be to pass the Republican’s budget.

Sen. Graham said the budget debate could drag out another week or two, increasing the uncertainty and stress on thousands of families.

Graham’s attempt to pass a clean bill for the long-term unemployed failed along party lines, 19-31. To hear the debate, click below:

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7 Comments

  1. Judy

    June 1, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    These Republicans don’t what happens to the unemployed’s children??? What is wrong with this!!! EVERYTHING…Give us a stand alone bill and let us save what is left of ours lives!!!

  2. TerryNC

    June 1, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Its sad that we are still being held hostage…what are the Repubs so afraid of???

  3. Faith

    June 1, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    There is no better example of the saying “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” than this. And power they have. But are they acting as good stewards of their power? Instead of taking the moral high ground, as Berger states he knows of our hardships, and sending a clean bill (HB 676) to Perdue, he and every single republican instead elected to be cold, callous and vindictive when offered the chance to vote on legislation to restore benefits immediately. Remember this from just last week “Amendment failed on party lines. All Rs voted to keep benefit fix tied to budget measure. All Ds voted to separate them.” Which means Berger (and Tillis) continue to speak for all the republicans. In this interview Berger made it crystal clear he and the other republicans know we are experiencing extreme hardship and stress. But too bad. Unless they get what they want, we get nothing and continue to give up everything. Berger could not have made it any plainer that they just don’t care.

  4. Diane W

    June 1, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    All I know is that I hope that come next election day that every Republican will find him/herself UNEMPLOYED just like all 46,000 of us!

  5. G. Alan Elmore

    June 1, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    When the next election is done and over with I guess there will be a lot of Republicans out of work in NC. What is the problem with a clean bill for the unemployment benefits, and fighting over the state budget separate afterwards, after all the unemployment benefits are actually federal money not state money. So get off your a**es and quite holding us hostage. DO THE RIGHT THING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is my opinion that to be a republican means to be an idiot.

  6. Marlene

    June 2, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Amen Diane!

  7. A shabby moment | Exile on Jones Street

    June 2, 2011 at 10:52 am

    [...] following two-minute exchange was captured by the folks at NC Policy Watch. Apodaca’s comment about camps is at the end. His office phone number is (919) [...]