Dems Raising a Ruckus Over Jobless Benefits
President Obama plans to keep issue in the news
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2014 9:30 AM CST
President Obama is seen in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

(Newser) – President Obama plans to climb the bully pulpit this week and hammer Congress—but really, just congressional Republicans—for failing to extend long-term unemployment benefits. The White House has concocted a plan to keep the issue in the news on a daily basis, Politico reports. Tomorrow, Obama will invite a group of unemployed Americans to the White House, while his campaign group Organizing for Action runs events in 30 cities calling for an extension. Progressive groups will follow up with a Washington rally on Wednesday and TV ads on Thursday.

Democrats took to the Sunday shows yesterday to push for the extension as well. "It's the right thing to do," Harry Reid told Face the Nation. "We have long-term unemployment. That's why the American people support this—Democrats, independents, and Republicans." But John Boehner is demanding cuts elsewhere to cover such an extension, and Senate Republicans are singing the same tune, keeping Democrats shy of 60 votes, the Washington Post reports. "I'm not opposed to unemployment insurance," Rand Paul told ABC, according to the New York Times. "I am opposed to having it without paying for it." Democrats have countered by arguing that most unemployment extensions aren't paid for—including all five that took place under George W. Bush.