Congress Fails to Pass Unemployment Benefit Package

Rod Blagojevich will be entering the Governor’s Mansion during tough economic times. Economic woes are also on the mind of stateliners as Congress fails to strike a deal on the extension of unemployment benefits.

More than 800,000 Americans will lose their jobless benefits three days after Christmas.

Democrats briefly threatened to block passage of the homeland security measure over the issue. They complained that lawmakers should not go home for the year without first extending the unemployment benefits.

Wisconsin Congressman David Obey says congress is "playing scrooge at Christmas time."

The republican-led house and democratic-run senate approved extensions of the program, but could not agree on a compromise version.

President Bush refused to intervene. White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer says it's an issue lawmakers have to resolve.


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