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Menendez: Passing unemployment benefits extension in Senate will put pressure on House

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Sen. Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat, said being able to pass a short-term unemployment insurance extension in the Senate may put the pressure on Speaker John A. Boehner to hold a vote in the House.

“The pressure of the nation’s eyes will be on them,” he said Friday on MSNBC.

Sen. Jack Reed, Rhode Island Democrat, announced Thursday that he’ll introduce a 3-month extension to unemployment benefits that will expire Saturday when Congress returns to Washington in January. While he is introducing the bill with a Republican co-sponsor, some Republicans have said they would only consider an extension if it’s paid for in other parts of the budget, which Mr. Reed’s extension isn’t.

While Mr. Menendez said there will be a time when the economy has grown enough to render long-term unemployment benefits unnecessary, now is not that time.

“It’s important even in an economy that is recovering,” he said. “We see all the statistics to show we’re going in the right direction but we still don’t have the job growth to measure that same economic growth.

“This is about helping working families be able to sustain themselves while they’re looking for work,” he continued.

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