Congress is back from vacation, but that doesn't mean Republicans are ready to get to work. Senate Democrats have already scheduled a test vote to restore unemployment insurance, but Republicans say they won't approve an extension without something in return. As of December 28th, 1.3 million Americans lost their long-term unemployment benefits, but Senate Republicans want more spending cuts or other concessions before passing another emergency extension.
As if that wasn't bad enough, Republicans in the House of Representatives plan to focus again on repealing Obamacare, rather than on helping to restore this financial lifeline for more than one million Americans. On Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “Republicans in Congress have to get away from being a Republican in Congress. They are just out of touch with what's going on in America today.” In other words, Republican lawmakers are worried more about facing a primary challenger than about doing what's right for the American public and our economy.
There should be nothing more important to our elected leaders than ensuring Americans aren't going hungry or ending up in the street. We must make it clear to our lawmakers that if they don't do what's right for Americans – and restore unemployment benefits now – than we will elect new leaders who will.