While appearing on MSNBC Thursday, Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wisc., scolded her House colleagues and called for "rage" from Americans over long-term unemployment benefits that are set to expire on December 28, Mediaite reported. Recently, congressional Republicans blocked an extension of the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation fund.
“If we can generate the kind of rage in the American public that we have seen when, say, for example just recently there was talk of going to Syria, I think we could get people on board for doing this really American thing,” she said, telling MSNBC that Congress has typically extended unemployment benefits when the jobless rate was around seven percent.
"We've done this under Republican presidents, Democratic presidents, Democrat-Republican Congress', and we have had a tremendous precedent that we care about our neighbors," she said.
Moore also claimed that a perception exists that those who have been unemployed for an extended period of time are "lazy," observing that even some with advanced degrees are out of work.
Moore's comment came on the same day a Washington Post article said that jobless advocates are ramping up an ad campaign designed to paint Republicans as heartless Scrooges for not extending long-term jobless benefits during the holidays.
One ad put out by Americans United for Change, is called "Bad Santas," and begins airing Thursday.
"And for those facing tough times? Republicans stripped 1.3 million Americans of jobless benefits — folks who want to work, but cannot find a job — kicking them to the curb during Christmas. So to the 1.3 million Americans losing benefits, Merry Christmas — from the GOP," the ad says.
The Post called the ad "tough," and said some House Republicans are open to the idea of an extension.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he would put forward a bill that contains a three-month extension when congress returns and, the Post added, one Senate Republican is on board.
On Thursday, the Associated Press also said the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped 42K to a seasonably-adjusted 338K. No explanation was given for the drop.
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