The House will vote Thursday on a three-month extension of federal unemployment benefits, but the measure is not expected to pass.
Democrats hope to make Republicans look like scrooges ahead of a holiday season where many unemployed workers will be struggling. The nation's unemployment rate stands at 9.6 percent.
The measure will be considered under the suspension of House rules, meaning a two-thirds vote is necessary for approval.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Thursday he expects every Democrat to vote for the three-month measure, but Republicans have balked at the cost of the extension given the nation's budget deficit.
Supporters off Capitol Hill are urging Congress to pass a yearlong extension and there appears to be growing support among House and Senate Democrats to push for a longer extension, at an estimated cost of about $65 billion.
"We need to fight for a year," said Judy Conti of the National Employment Law Project (NELP). "It's what the economy demands and the the unemployed and future unemployed need."
She said Thursday's vote puts the issue of the unemployed benefits "on the table."
President Obama is backing a 12-month extension of the legislation, White House officials told The Hill on Thursday.
But House Ways and Means Chairman Sander Levin (D-Mich.) and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, introduced the three-month bill on Wednesday. It would extend federal benefits -- up to 99 weeks in some states for those who have exhausted their 26 weeks of state unemployment insurance -- through Feb. 28.
The four-week moving average, which smoothes the volatility of the weekly numbers, was 443,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's revised average of 447,000.
Russell Berman contributed to this story.