A much debated vote that had national lawmakers split down party-lines also divided Marion County residents. A poll on kniakrls.com asked visitors if congress should extend unemployment benefits even if it means increasing the deficit. Out of a total 1,113 votes, 53% voted no, while 45% voted yes and 2% said no opinion. Iowa’s representation at the nations’ capital was no exception to the party-line split as Democrat Tom Harkin voted in favor of the extension and Republican Chuck Grassley voted against it.
The legislation will extend unemployment benefits through November, for those who have been unemployed for six months or more. There are an estimated 5 million eligible unemployed workers in the United States who will benefit from this extension and approximately half of them had their benefits cut off when funding expired June 2nd. The legislation includes retroactive payments for those who qualify and payments could go out as early as next week in some states, while others could take a few weeks.