Democrats last night unveiled a plan to extend long term, emergency jobless benefits, which run out at the end of November, repeating a fight that dominated Congress for months this year.
The bill was put on the schedule for Thursday just hours after it was introduced in the House, as Democrats try to go on the political offense in the wake of their big election defeat earlier this month.
"The unemployed in this country face a grim holiday season if we don't act quickly," said Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), who introduced the bill along with Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sander Levin.
"Without quick action, the last economic lifeline for two million Americans will be cut off during the holidays," said Rep. Levin (D-MI).
But this reporter would note that if it was so important, then maybe Democrats might have scheduled it earlier in the week, instead of waiting to the last minute.
It likely means that Thursday's exercise on the floor of the House may turn out to be more of a political effort to try to 'jam' Republicans, as Democrats tried to do a number of times in 2010 on this issue.
Democrats first tried to extend these benefits until after the elections way back in January and February, but could only move short term extensions.
Two times, in March and April, the benefits lapsed when Republicans refused to support an extension, as Democrats tried to make political hay out of those GOP filibusters.
The benefits ran out again in June, when Republicans demanded offsetting budget cuts, which Democrats refused to back.
Finally, in mid-July, Democrats got their 60th vote and pushed through an extension that went until November 30.
Back on July 20, I wrote, "This fight will start again after the elections."
And here we are.
Democrats will likely use today's debate to compare Republicans to The Holiday Scrooge, while GOP lamwakers talk about fiscal responsibility.
The bill will also be brought up under special rules, which require a two-thirds majority to approve the measure - so Democrats would need 290 votes in the House.
For those wondering about the cost - it's about $5-6 billion a month to extend these benefits, which the Congressional Budget Office says may be about the best way to get money in the hands of people who will spend it, and help feed the economy.
The members of the state ethics commission, eager to bring order to one of the most disordered corners of state government, hired a “receiver” last week to heal their agency and then did they only thing they could.
Enjoy expanded coverage of college football for UGa, Tech and the SEC, with our SEC Insider, covering all Southeastern Conference matchups and articles by AJC staff and regional newspapers that cover the SEC.