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General News    H2'ed 3/8/10

DeLay: People are unemployed because they want to be

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Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay says that Sen. Jim Bunning was "brave" for blocking an extension in unemployment benefits.

DeLay subscribes to the notion that people only try to find jobs when their benefits run out.

"There is an argument to be made that these extensions, the unemployment benefits, keep people from going and finding jobs," he told CNN's Candy Crowley Sunday.

"In fact there are some studies that have been done that show people stay on unemployment compensation and they don't look for a job until two or three weeks before they know the benefits are going to run out," he argued.

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"People are unemployed because they want to be? " asked Crowley.

"Well, it is the truth. And people in the real world know it," said DeLay.

The Senate passed a ten billion dollar stopgap unemployment measure late Tuesday, after including an amendment offered by Sen. Bunning that prevented further deficits.

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Ryan Grim noted in The Huffington Post that "unemployment benefits are generally so small that much of it is often used to pay for COBRA health insurance, even when subsidized. The size of the benefits does not generally cover the cost of living and it would be hard to find a single person who would prefer unemployment to having a job so that they could get subsidized COBRA."

This video is from CNN's State of the Union, broadcast March 7, 2010.

 

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