Schumer: 'Tectonic plates' are shifting

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) says he thinks it’s possible for unemployment benefits to pass, but if it doesn’t, Democrats would only be a vote or two shy.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow asked Schumer Monday night if he thinks the legislation to extend the benefits will pass this week.

“I think it is possible. The pressure is mounting on our Republicans because what's happening is this. The tectonic plates beneath our politics are changing,” he said. 

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Extending unemployment insurance previously won bipartisan support, he said, adding the GOP's strong opposition today “shows you how far the Republicans have moved over.”

Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) comments in early December about the insurance being “a disservice” to the American worker is “insulting,” Schumer said. The New York Democrat made a similar comment Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

The hard right is promoting the idea that if the benefits are extended, people will stop looking for work, Schumer said. “[That] is just bunk and insulting to the American worker and to the American ethos.”

Schumer predicts the Senate would pass the extension eventually.

“I'm very hopeful we can actually get an unemployment insurance done, if not in this vote, where right now, we're only a vote or two shy.”

The Senate will hold their first procedural vote to advance the bill Tuesday. Democrats need 60 votes.