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Durbin Backs Biden Rescue Plan

Senator Dick Durbin

Despite its huge cost, Illinois US Senator Dick Durbin says Congress must approve the president's economic rescue plan.

Speaking to reporters just hours after the Senate approved the 1.9 trillion dollar plan early Friday morning, he says many Americans are desperate for help. And the bill would help them by raising federal unemployment benefits by 400 dollars a week.

"Many of them not only are struggling with the very basics of keeping food on the table but they're also struggling with health insurance for themselves and the members of their family. And we believe that this additional unemployment benefit will provide for them the kind of emergency assistance they need."

Durbin says the plan would also provide a lifelline to the economy because instead of saving this money or investing in stocks, these people would spend the money immediately.

Joining him was Kimmie Jordan who lost her housekeeping job last year at a Chicago hotel. She says she's "living on the edge" trying to support herself and two children.

"I pay my rent late, I pay my car note late, and if unemployment ends I'll be homeless within a couple months of that. So I'm literally holding on."

Another former hotel worker says if he loses his health insurance that he can barely afford now, he'll have to send his children to live with their grandparents in Europe where there's universal health care.

Durbin hopes the bill, and the benefits, can be approved by the end of the month.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.