By Vicki Needham - 12/05/13 04:15 PM EST
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that Democrats wouldn't support a budget agreement without a reauthorization of federal unemployment benefits.
"We can't support a budget agreement that doesn't include UI [unemployment insurance]," Pelosi said Thursday at a Democratic hearing on the issue.
"It would undermine who we are as a country and strike at the heart of what you bring to America," she said to several unemployed workers who testified at the hearing. Rep Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said Pelosi's demand was not helpful.
The leaders of the House and Senate budget conference, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), have been working on a deal that would replace a part of the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester.
The two don't have a deal yet, and they are running out of time ahead of a Dec. 13 deadline.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) struck a pessimistic note, saying Ryan did not have a deal when he updated Boehner on Thursday.