After 5 Weeks, 3 GOP Filibusters and 200,000 Americans Running Out of Bennies, Obama to Sign Unemployment Extension

This is how things work in DC these days.

The good news is, President Obama will sign a measure today to extend unemployment benefits for at least 14 weeks for people out of work. It's money well spent -- it helps struggling people, and the investment tends to be stimulative -- and with new, discouraging job numbers, the timing is right.

"Given the employment situation and the general bang for the buck you get from unemployment insurance, that's probably the most sensible of the stimulative policies to extend," Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said.

The bad news is, it took far too long to get the common-sense bill through Congress. The measure stalled in the Senate for weeks, and while GOP lawmakers dithered, about 200,000 people who are looking for work lost their benefits.

We talked a couple of weeks ago about why Republicans were forcing delays, and Kevin Drum summarized what transpired on the Senate floor yesterday.


Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal. His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."