Just days after Rick Sanchez and his producer asked for "hardship stories" online, CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 program on Tuesday looked for people who have lost their unemployment benefits due to Republican Senator Jim Bunning's opposition to a $10 billion emergency measure which would have extended benefits.
The unsigned entry on the AC360 blog, which was posted on Tuesday afternoon, first recapped how Democrats attacked Bunning for blocking the unanimous consent of the measure. In the last sentence of the entry, the unnamed author asked readers of CNN.com to reply for their sob stories:
The unemployed will now stop getting checks once they run out of their state benefits or current tier of federal benefits.
Top Democrats tore into one of their Republican counterparts yesterday for blocking an extension of unemployment benefits that would provide assistance to millions of jobless Americans.
The Senate adjourned last week without approving extensions of cash and health insurance benefits for the unemployed after Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Kentucky, blocked the measure by insisting that Congress first pay for the $10 billion package. The emergency measure needed unanimous consent to pass.
Bunning, who is retiring at the end of this year, said he doesn't oppose extending the programs, he just doesn't want to add to the deficit. Democrats claim the bill is an emergency measure that should not be subject to new rules requiring that legislation not expand the deficit.
Have you lost your unemployment benefits as a result? We want to hear from you! Let us know.
On February 26, Sanchez's producer solicited for a broader set of "hardship stories" on Twitter: "Today Rick's looking 4 hardship stories: financial, med., trouble w/ (BROKEN?) govt., family, etc Keep short, maybe will read on air." The CNN anchor ended up reading a few Tweets of such stories at the beginning of his program.