While legislation to renew extended unemployment insurance cleared a big hurdle in the Senate this week, it’s far from the last one. Most of the handful of Republicans who voted to advance the bill say they won’t support the final version if the cost isn’t offset with equivalent spending cuts.
Plus, the two parties are squabbling whether to make it three-month or one-year extension, with a longer extension necessitating more cuts to get Republican backing (never mind that Republicans did not impose such conditions on extending unemployment insurance in hard times when it was requested by George W. Bush).
Without an easy solution, the legislation can still get bogged down, lose momentum, then eventually get pushed aside as other pressing matters inevitably arise … if the politicians think the public doesn’t care.
That’s why it is imperative to keep the pressure on, and not let one procedural win prompt us to declare premature victory.