POLITICS
01/05/2014 12:42 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Harry Reid: Republicans In Congress 'Have To Get Away From Being Republicans In Congress'

WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Sunday that Republicans in Congress need to stop being themselves.

Reid and other Democrats from Congress and the White House advocated a renewal of long-term unemployment insurance on Sunday, after benefits lapsed for 1.3 million jobless workers last month. Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) last month introduced a bill that would restore the compensation for three months.

"We have one of the liberal members of the senate, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, and one of the conservative members members, Dean Heller of Nevada." Reid said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "They say we should extend these unemployment benefits. And they're right."

Host Bob Schieffer cut in to say that one Republican is not enough to avoid a filibuster.

"It would seem to me that five Republicans in the Senate should agree with the Republicans around the country," he said. "Republicans around America want us to do something to extend these benefits. Why? Because it's good for the economy. It's good for the country."

Reid concluded, "So Republicans in Congress have to get away from being Republicans in Congress."

However, a recent HuffPost/YouGov national poll found that Republican voters opposed extending long-term unemployment insurance by a margin of 45 percent to 26 percent. A 46 percent plurality of all voters favored keeping the compensation.

Reid has said the Senate will vote on the Reed-Heller bill early this week.

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