The White House on Saturday deployed senior advisor David Axelrod to bolster President Barack Obama’s political attack on Senate Republicans for blocking extension of unemployment benefits.

Axelrod, echoing Obama’s weekly radio address, circulated an email that calls on Republicans to allow an up-or-down vote.

“Unemployment insurance is a vital lifeline for many families struggling to find work in these tough times. Over the past few weeks, that lifeline has disappeared for more than 2 million Americans, and if Congress doesn’t act, that number will grow to 3.2 million people by the end of this month,” Axelrod writes.

Republicans, who have filibustered the measure, say any extension must be paid for and have sought to cast Democrats as fiscally reckless.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Friday that the appointment of Carte Goodwin (D-W.Va.)) to replace the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) will give Democrats needed support to pass the extension, which will come up for another vote Tuesday after he’s sworn in.

Axelrod also echoed his boss’s call for movement on a package of tax relief and lending for small businesses.

“Getting our economy back on track hasn’t been easy, but passing important legislation to support small businesses and Americans looking for work has proved nearly impossible. Repeatedly, Republicans have used procedural maneuvers to deny this legislation an up or down vote,” he wrote.