The filing deadline for the next tier of federal unemployment benefits expires today and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is laying the blame
solely at the feet of Republicans, who blocked unanimous consent to
move forward on a stop-gap extension last month. "It is inexcusable and
irresponsible for Republicans to once again block the extension of
these benefits," Reid said in a statement. "Their excuses ring hollow
to American workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own
and are trying to put food on the table, pay the rent, and take their
children to the doctors."
Reid has "committed" to extending a
short-term extension next week while lawmakers search for a long-term
solution and has hinted such a bill would retroactively cover benefits
that expire this week. On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) even admitted that the upper chamber "will have to do things like extending unemployment benefits because unemployment is so high."