Thursday, November 10, 2011

Idaho Labor Chief, Dems Feud Over Extended Jobless Benefits

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Idaho's Department of Labor director Roger Madsen is locked in a war of words with state Democrats over his calling for an end to further extensions of jobless benefits.

Madsen wrote to Idaho's congressional delegation calling for a cessation of unemployment benefits that provide support up to 99 weeks. Madsen said the extended payments "hurt the country's ability to strengthen its economy," saying the payouts add to the nation's deficit.

Idaho Dems fired back, saying Madsen wanted "to throw the unemployed in our state to the wolves to prove his tea party, anti-government credentials."

Democratic Party chair Larry Grant called on Madsen to resign.

"As head of the Idaho Department of Labor, it is Madsen's job to make sure every unemployed person in Idaho has the help and support they need, not cut the very funding their survival depends on," said Grant.

In a statement today, Madsen responded, "As for resigning, I serve at the pleasure of Gov. Otter, who has yet to ask for my resignation. Until he does, my goal is to stay on as director and strengthen Idaho's unemployment insurance program."

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