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State of Texas: TWC contractor reveals call center problems; Senate candidates prepare for debate

AUSTIN (Nexstar) – Imagine showing up to a job where you know that almost 75% of what you do will fail someone. What if a fireman failed to help someone in three out of four fire calls? What if a police officer failed to help clear three out of four 911 calls?

Day, after day.

That’s what a contractor helping field calls for the Texas Workforce Commission told us was going on inside some of the agency’s call centers. The contractor, who asked to not be identified in this report, told KXAN the problem facing nearly every caller is that their call may be answered by people who have no way to help Texans calling for help with their unemployment problems.

This worker said they’re unable to help about three-quarters of the people who call with unemployment problems.

Since the pandemic hit in mid-March, hundreds of unemployed Texans wrote to us, all telling the same story: thousands of calls to the TWC’s lone toll-free number are never answered. The few who have connected are likely to find themselves on the line with one of 1,600 contracted customer service representatives.

At first, they think their prayers are answered and the weeks – sometimes months – of waiting for their unemployment benefits is over.

RELATED: Planning to appeal a TWC decision, prepare for 18-week wait

Then, the contractor reads from the script they use when they answer a call: “I am limited to the types of questions I can answer.”

That’s led to many unemployed Texans hitting a dead-end, following a series of calls to the TWC, and never finding help.

In April, the bosses inside the TWC were scrambling. As state and local stay-at-home orders began locking Texans down in mid-March, millions lost their jobs and headed straight for the unemployment

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Trump accuses Chris Wallace of siding with Joe Biden in first debate

President Trump in his first tweet following Tuesday’s first presidential debate accused moderator Chris Wallace of siding with his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden.

The wordless tweet simply features an image of Trump on the left opposed by Wallace and Biden together on the right, in the style of an old arcade game’s character-select screen — down to the abbreviation “VS” in the font of the “Street Fighter” series.

Throughout the chaotic first debate at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Fox News host Wallace repeatedly chastised both candidates — but particularly Trump — for interrupting him and each other.

President Donald Trump and Moderator Chris Wallace
President Trump and moderator Chris WallaceUPI/Backgrid

Each candidate was guilty many times over of cutting off his opponent mid-sentence, including during what were supposed to be the two uninterrupted minutes to which they were entitled at the start of a new segment.

“You’re debating him [Biden], not me,” Wallace cracked at one point to Trump, who saw it a different way.

“I guess I’m debating you, not him,” replied Trump. “But that’s OK, no surprise.”

The result was a stop-and-go contest that often descended into petty personal attacks at the expense of substantive points on policy.

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