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Labor Secretary calls for extension of unemployment benefits

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U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez is calling on the House of Representatives to vote this week on legislation that would extend benefits to the long-term unemployed. The Senate, earlier this week, passed a bill to reauthorize emergency unemployment benefits for five months. Roughly 2.3 million Americans lost the benefits more than 90 days ago upon expiration. The legislation must pass in the House in order to go to President Obama's desk.

Perez, a native of Buffalo and a graduate of Canisius High School, discussed the issue Wednesday with WBFO's Mike Desmond.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.