North Carolina's Republican legislature cut state unemployment insurance to the point where it no longer met the standards to qualify for federal aid. Now, Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan is battling her state's Republicans over the issue, trying to get federal aid restored to the state if federal aid for the long-term unemployed is restored anywhere, while pointing a finger squarely at the state legislature:
"The General Assembly knowingly and willingly violated federal law, and I refuse to let the people of our state suffer because of their reckless actions," Hagan said in a written statement, adding "North Carolinians struggling to get by while looking for work should receive the same benefits as citizens in other states.Republican legislators responded by arguing that Hagan should have found a way to keep federal benefits to North Carolina flowing even when they, as she points out, "knowingly and willingly violated federal law." That's the level of Republican argument here: Democrats should enable Republican law breaking or else they own the consequences of said law breaking.
Less aggressive, but in marked contrast to the man she's challenging (Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell), Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes had her campaign issue a statement saying:
Alison supports the bipartisan effort in the Senate to extend unemployment benefits. Unemployment insurance benefits are the only source of income for many in Kentucky, especially for the 1,200 coal miners who recently lost their jobs in Pike County.There are so many arguments in favor of extending aid, from basic humanity to strengthening the economy. On the flip side, the arguments against doing so are basic inhumanity, economic illiteracy, or a straightforward desire to weaken the government.