MSNBC's Sharpton Slams 'Heartless Ideology' of GOP on Unemployment Benefits Extension

On Friday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton asserted that Republicans "don't care" about the unemployed whose unemployment benefits are expiring and went on to accuse Republicans of having a "heartless ideology that says if you're out of work, you're out of luck."

Sharpton began the show:

Tonight's lead, the axe is about to fall, and Republicans don't care at all. In just six hours, over one million Americans will lose long-term unemployment benefits. Why? Because House Republicans went on holiday break without fixing this. Despite the economic recovery, long-term unemployment is at its highest level since World War II. Every day we're hearing more stories from ordinary Americans bracing for the pain coming at midnight tonight.

A bit later, he added:

This shouldn't be a partisan issue, but Speaker Boehner's Republican House turned it into one. It's a heartless ideology that says if you're out of work, you're out of luck.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, December 27, PoliticsNation on MSNBC:

AL SHARPTON: Tonight's lead, the axe is about to fall, and Republicans don't care at all. In just six hours, over one million Americans will lose long-term unemployment benefits. Why? Because House Republicans went on holiday break without fixing this. Despite the economic recovery, long-term unemployment is at its highest level since World War II. Every day we're hearing more stories from ordinary Americans bracing for the pain coming at midnight tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: What if we no longer have a place to keep the baby, you know? What if we, you know, no longer are able to offer her a safe place to live?

ROGELIA CORTEZ, UNEMPLOYED: And then there's my kids. I got three at home. I have to feed them. I have to keep my rent.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I am at 20 bucks in my wallet. I am at homeless. I get you have to cut your bottom line, but if you're cutting the bottom line and starving people doing it, how does that make sense?

SHARPTON: It doesn't make sense. These are just a few stories of the 1.3 million losing benefits tonight. This is about people, not politics. In fact, in 2008 President George W. Bush signed long-term benefits extension into law.

This shouldn't be a partisan issue, but Speaker Boehner's Republican House turned it into one. It's a heartless ideology that says if you're out of work, you're out of luck.

Today President Obama again demanded Congress act promptly on this in the new year. And he placed calls to two Senate co-sponsors of a proposal to extend jobless benefits for three months, voicing his support for the measure. The fight is on in the richest country in the world. There's no excuse for this. I hope Republicans think long and hard about these Americans tonight and come back to Washington ready to act.

--Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Brad Wilmouth on Twitter.