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January 6th, 2014
08:21 PM ET

Key vote on unemployment benefits delayed

The first partisan battle of 2014 is officially under way in Washington.

A key vote is expected in Washington Tuesday on a bill that would extend unemployment benefits for the 1.3 million long-term unemployed Americans.

Year's first partisan showdown: extending jobless benefits

The bill would extend those benefits for three months.

Democrats are making it clear that this issue is a top political priority for them this year.

President Barack Obama: "Instead of punishing families who can least afford it, Republicans should make it their New Year's resolution to do the right thing, and restore this vital economic security for their constituents right now."

Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy: "We have never, over the last half century, cut off emergency unemployment benefits when long term unemployment was even barely over half the rate that we have right now. Now is not the time to."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: "Let's start helping the middle class. Let's start helping the poor. The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer. The middle class is being squeezed out of existence."

Senate delays test vote on jobless benefits extension

Is this an effort to distract from the Obamacare debacle?

OutFront: CNN Political Commentator Paul Begala and Senior Political Columnist for the Washington Examiner Tim Carney.


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