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Wisconsin U.S. Senators Baldwin, Johnson split vote in restoring jobless benefits

WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - Wisconsin's two U.S. Senators voted opposite ways Tuesday morning, when a bill to restore federal benefits for the long-term unemployed cleared its first hurdle.

Democrat Tammy Baldwin voted yes and Republican Ron Johnson voted no, when the Senate voted 60-37 to limit debate on the measure. Only a half-dozen Republicans sided with the Democrats, and Johnson was not among them.  

The GOP wants to amend the package to make sure the $6.4 billion cost does not add to the federal deficit. Democrats have rejected that idea.  

The bill has an uncertain future anyway, because it's attracting lots of opposition in the Republican-controlled House.  

Baldwin says the package affects almost 24,000 Wisconsinites who lost their emergency federal jobless benefits on December 28th.  

The bill restores 14 to 47 weeks of benefits for 1.3 million of the nation's longest nemployed individuals.  

Baldwin says the nation's economy is moving forward but Wisconsin continues to lag behind other states -- as evidenced by the fact that unemployment rose in 53 of Wisconsin's 72 counties from October to November. She also said the Badger State led the nation in new jobless benefit claims a few weeks ago.  

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)