Congress' jobless benefits wrangle leaves 260,000 in California without

Merced Sun-StarJuly 9, 2010 

Hundreds of thousands of unemployed Californians are in limbo as Congress clashes over extending jobless benefits.

With the state unemployment rate at 12.4 percent and Stanislaus County at 17.3 percent, the stakes and worries are high. Already some 260,000 Californians have lost their long-term benefits since Congress began wrangling over an extension, according to numbers from the state Employment Development Department.

Lawmakers broke for the Independence Day recess on Friday without coming to an agreement. By the time they return to session Monday, it is estimated that more than 2.1 million U.S. residents who have been unemployed for more than six months will have missed checks.

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