Labor uses jobless to lean on Congress to extend unemployment benefits

The AFL-CIO pressed lawmakers to extend a "lifeline" to unemployed workers by extending benefits for out-of-work Americans.

The labor group pressed Congress to approve another extension of unemployment benefits by featuring a video depicting jobless workers.

"Congress is debating whether to restore this survival aid," the video says. "This is not a debate. The choice is clear."

The unemployment benefits expired Nov. 30 and have lapsed since then. Such a situation has played out several times this year due to legislative wrangling.

Republicans demand the extensions be paid for by spending cuts elsewhere, while Democrats insist the spending is an "emergency" and not subject to pay-as-you-go rules.

The latest fight centers around Republicans' insistence that the benefits be paid for and that an extension of all expiring tax cuts be approved first. Democrats have offered an extension several times this week, but the Senate's 42 Republicans have objected.