Las Vegas Sun

October 21, 2017

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John Ensign votes against jobless benefits extension

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John Ensign

Sun Coverage

WASHINGTON -- The congressional stalemate over extending unemployment benefits ended late Tuesday without the support of Republican Sen. John Ensign, who voted against additional jobless benefits for out-of-work Nevadans.

Ensign joined a minority of Republicans who supported fellow Republican Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky in opposing an extension of the popular program at a time when the nation’s jobless rate is 9.7 percent – and 13 percent in Nevada.

The bill overwhelmingly passed, 78-19, and President Barack Obama quickly signed it into law.

Ensign’s office declined to comment on his vote.

Bunning brought the Senate to a days-long standstill, arguing that the $10 billion, 30-day extension of unemployment benefits, Cobra subsidies and other measures should be paid for by either using untapped recovery funds or closing a biofuels tax credit loophole. But he could not win support from his colleagues for what many argued was an emergency measure and not subject to pay-as-you-go rules.

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