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Durbin to GOP: Put down Ayn Rand books

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) asked Republicans to stop reading Ayn Rand books and help Democrats pass legislation aimed to give struggling Americans a hand.

“I say to my conservative friends, put down those Ayn Rand books for a minute and take a look at the real world,” Durbin said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “If we can’t stand behind those who are struggling in life, who are we; what are we?”

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Durbin was marking the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty speech.

Durbin said the first step Republicans could take in showing they want to help the public would be to vote with Democrats to temporarily extend unemployment insurance for the 1.3 million people who lost their benefits on Dec. 28.

“Helping to reduce poverty in America will help us all,” Durbin said. “Work with us to help America. Please start off by extending unemployment insurance.”

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