Here's An Early Sign That Democrats Are Going To Make Unemployment Insurance A Huge Campaign Issue

In a sign that Democrats are prepared to make an extension of long-term unemployment insurance and broader themes of income inequality a big campaign issue, the Democratic National Committee on Tuesday blasted three Republican presidential hopefuls for their votes against extending the emergency insurance.

In a video that was shared with Business Insider before its launch, the DNC hit three 2016 GOP Senate hopefuls — Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), and Ted Cruz (Texas). The Senate on Tuesday voted to advance a bill that would temporarily extend unemployment benefits to approximately 1.3 million long-term unemployed Americans.

The DNC video features local television news clips from each of the senators’ states on the Dec. 28 expiration of long-term benefits.

The DNC’s focus on the issue signals a longer-term focus on themes of income inequality. On the other side, the Republican National Committee announced on Tuesday its first paid media buy targeting 2014 Democratic candidates on Obamacare — part of what promises, for Republicans, to be a laser-like focus on the health-care law ahead of the 2014 election.

Here’s a statement from DNC press secretary Mike Czin on the unemployment insurance vote:

Today, despite the opposition of the majority of Republicans, the Senate took the first step to extend unemployment insurance benefits for millions of Americans while they look for work. Across the country, American families need and rely on this vital lifeline, and experts agree that this extension is in the best interest of the economy — but still, the majority of Republican in the Senate voted no.

For these Republicans, including those considering presidential runs in 2016, today’s vote was yet another example of their failure to support policies that grow the middle class. They oppose increasing the minimum wage, they want to repeal the Affordable Care Act which expands Medicaid, and they went so far as shutting down the government costing our economy $US24 billion.

Extending unemployment insurance benefits is the right thing to do for millions of Americans who are trying to support their families, and it’s the right thing to do for our economy. But Republican leaders like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio continue to put ideological obstructionism ahead of the needs of their constituents and the good of the economy. The American people are looking for compromise and progress not the rigid partisanship of today’s GOP that puts politics over people.

Here’s the video:

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