Rep. Eliot Engel, New York Democrat, said Tuesday it’s “disgraceful” that Republicans refused to extend long-term unemployment benefits that expire Saturday for more than a million Americans.
“They seem to have an attitude that, somehow or other, people who can’t get work and need unemployment benefits to survive are working the system,” he said on “MSNBC Live.” “It’s really disgraceful.”
“It’s a priority for us as Democrats, but the Republicans who have a majority in the House refuse to bring it up,” he added.
Democrats unsuccessfully pushed for an extension to the benefits to be included in the budget deal earlier this month. Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said extending the emergency benefits will be a priority for the Senate in early 2014.
Republicans have insisted that the benefits be paid for by cutting spending in other parts of the budget, while Democrats argue that the benefits are an emergency and do not need to be paid for.