In this period of deepening deprivation, Republicans in Congress are not only obstructing an extension in federal unemployment benefits, at a time when 5.7 million people have been out of work six months or more, explains Betsy Reed writing in the new issue of The Nation. "They are quietly killing the range of safety net initiatives in the Recovery Act that have kept millions from poverty. The result is an unfolding catastrophe that is receiving almost no attention from the media or political establishment."

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