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Granholm: Failure to extend benefits will drive state, country back into recession

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By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wkar/local-wkar-910362.mp3

LANSING, MI –

Governor Granholm says Congress would be responsible for plunging the nation into a new recession if it does not act this week to extend unemployment benefits and Medicaid funding. Granholm and other governors were in Washington D.C. to prod a deficit-weary Congress to support the additional spending.

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Governor Granholm and other governors of both parties say without that money, states and hospitals will be forced to pick up more costs.

Granholm says Michigan's unemployment rate remains high and consumer confidence remains low, but both have turned in a positive direction. She says that's also true across much of the rest of trhe country, which shows the beginnings of a recovery are taking shape.

"But if we don't get emergency extensions as we move into a recovery, we are going to see devastation across the country."

In Michigan, she says 87,000 people are about to lose unemployment benefits, and the loss of Medicaid funds will pile another $500 million onto a budget deficit already pegged at one and a half-billion dollars in the coming fiscal year.

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