Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK)
Rep. Tom Cole
The Senate extended emergency unemployment aid for five months on Monday evening, but don't look for the more than two million people whose benefits have been cut off to get help anytime soon. House Republican leadership doesn't look ready to budge on this issue, which means unemployment insurance won't even get a vote:
“I don’t think there is a great sense of pressure on our members,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a House deputy whip. “The prevailing view in our conference is that there aren’t adequate pay-fors and it’s time for this program to come to an end.”
Mind you, that lack of a "great sense of pressure" is despite six Senate Republicans voting for final passage of the bill and seven House Republicans having sent House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor a letter asking them to bring the Senate bill or something similar to the floor. The particular pounds of flesh Boehner and Cantor say they want include weakening Obamacare, Keystone XL approval, and other proposals with little connection to persistently high long-term unemployment.

But really, that's all just a fig leaf for the final part of Cole's explanation above: House Republicans basically feel that "it's time for this program to come to an end." You know, maybe if they ignore the problem it will just go away. Or maybe they can just pretend it into not being a problem anymore, most likely through the time-honored Republican tactic of blaming jobless people for the lack of jobs, even when there are no jobs for 60 percent of job seekers.

Sign and send a petition to your member of Congress: Restore unemployment benefits now.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 09:08 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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