BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said more than 800,000 people in New York state are out of work, and 15 million are unemployed nationwide. Almost half of them have been out of work more than six months.

Gillibrand held a news conference in Buffalo with Mayor Byron Brown on Sunday to encourage federal lawmakers to extend long-term unemployment benefits through the end of 2011.

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They criticized Republicans in Congress who have been fighting against an extension of unemployment benefits while seeking an extension of tax cuts for millionaires.

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Republican leaders in Washington have said extending long-term benefits for the jobless will add billions of dollars to the national debt.

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