This sounds like something better done from Washington.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) urged Republicans Friday to stop blocking an extension of unemployment benefits.
In a statement responding to Friday’s jobs report, Reid said the high unemployment rate demonstrates the need for another extension.
“With so many families in Nevada and across the country still struggling to find work and make ends meet, it is imperative that Senate Republicans stop blocking the extension of critical unemployment insurance and health benefits — their obstruction endangers the economic certainty of millions of families,” Reid said.
All true enough. But with the expiration date for hundreds of thousands of jobless on Monday, and Congress having spent a week in their districts, taking the time now to demand movement on the extension misses the point a bit. The fact is that cloture could have been invoked much earlier, while the Senate was still in session, and a vote forced that would have made Republicans stand with either struggling families or Jim Bunning and Tom Coburn. If Bunning and Coburn won out, so be it; this statement would make more sense. As it is, Democrats tried to get unanimous consent on an extension, couldn’t, and went home, vowing to take it up later and make the benefits retroactive. That’s a costly activity that adds uncertainty to both families and state governments. And it didn’t really need to happen.