This week, winter storm Hercules got 2014 off to a frigid start for the roughly 100 million people in its path. Things were equally chilly for the 1.3 million people whose unemployment benefits expired on December 28th -- a frosty "gift" from Congress, which was clearly unmoved by the fact that long-term unemployment is at its highest point since World War II. Congress should renew the emergency aid as soon as it reconvenes this week; if not, another 3.6 million Americans who've been out of work longer than 26 weeks will shortly find themselves out in the no-more-benefits-cold -- and prey to the health consequences, damaged relationships and increased rates of suicide often associated with long-term unemployment. Maybe the New Year -- and the coming midterm elections -- will help melt the GOP's frostbitten heart.
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