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High Jobless Rates Drive GOP Backers of Unemployment Benefits

Six Republicans bucked the party line Tuesday to open debate on a temporary reinstatement of lapsed jobless benefits — and for some, the story behind their support is one of high unemployment at home, combined with Democratic delegation-mates who create inherent political tension.

Jobless benefits expired on Dec. 28 for 1.3 million Americans, but states with higher unemployment rates are disproportionately affected because federal extended benefits are divided into tiers of aid based on need.

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