“Members of Congress got to pose for a moment of bipartisan victory on the jobs crisis yesterday with the passage of a package of tax cuts and transportation investments that may put a few hundred thousand people to work. It would be great news, if only there weren't 14.8 million Americans looking for a job and more than a million of them weren't about to lose their unemployment benefits and health care coverage this coming Monday according to the National Employment Law Project. The bipartisan photo-op is helpful only insofar as it actually helps build momentum for policies that will meaningfully lower the unemployment rate and keep faith with Americans who have been fruitlessly searching for work for months. Economic analysts project that unemployment will remain above 8 percent through 2012 and will stay high through 2014. Those numbers only look worse when you consider discouraged workers and involuntary part-timers. So why aren't we extending benefits to the millions of Americans we already know will find it impossible to get work for the duration, whatever they do? Congress should be implementing a permanent fix to the system that automatically extends benefits at times of persistent high unemployment, not a two week extension that leaves families, communities, and the states that administer unemployment programs scrambling and uncertain.”