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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., favored the Senates passage today of a measure designed to help unemployed workers hit by the nation's economic slump, but he expressed his disappointment as Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., put an end to the latest effort to pass an economic stimulus bill.

Enzi was pleased with the legislation that would extend unemployment insurance benefits for 13 weeks. In October Enzi co-sponsored the Emergency Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 2001, which included a similar extension of benefits.

Enzi said, however, that an extension is only a temporary solution and what is truly needed is legislation that would stimulate the economy.

"I believe if left to work we could have come up with a stimulus package that would result in more workers receiving paychecks instead unemployment checks," said Enzi.

Enzi supported a House-passed economic stimulus bill that would have provided for long-term tax relief for individuals and tax incentives for small business. One measure would have put an end to the death tax that is a burden for many small family ranches. The bipartisan House-passed bill would also have provided money for health insurance subsidies for the unemployed and rebates of up to $600 for lower-wage earners who did not qualify for last summer's tax rebate checks.

The House-passed stimulus package fell on a vote of 48-47 and Daschle's economic stimulus bill fell 56-39. Sixty votes were needed to overcome procedural rules. Following the votes Daschle pulled the issue entirely from the Senate floor.

"The Daschle package was much like a patient needing emergency service and for the last several days we have been performing surgery, one amendment-bandage at a time," said Enzi. "Progress could have been made toward an acceptable bi-partisan agreement but now the Majority Leader pulled the plug completely on many amendments that had broad bipartisan support and were truly meant to stimulate the economy."