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The Republican War on Christmas by Jim Dean of Democracy for America

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Ever gotten a dirty look for wishing someone "Happy Holidays"? 

It's the same story every year. December rolls around, and the next thing you know Bill O'Reilly and FOX News get to work raising the blood pressure of conservatives everywhere, telling tall tales of how evil liberals won't let them sing carols or display nativity sets. And every year, most of those stories turn out to be false -- not that it ever deters the talking heads from telling them. 

Well, this year there is a real "War on Christmas"; and it's not being waged by the ACLU or the Democratic Party. This year, the Republicans are playing Scrooge, robbing 1.3 million people across America of desperately needed unemployment benefits right in the middle of the holiday season -- and setting the stage for robbing millions more of the same benefits later. 

Yesterday, Nancy Pelosi stood up for the unemployed in a big way, saying she won't support any budget deal in the House that doesn't guarantee these crucial benefits. But Republicans refuse to extend them. Congress is scheduled to go on holiday break in just a few short days, and if they don't reach a deal benefits will be completely cut off on December 28th, sending people who are already in a tough place scrambling for income even as temporary holiday jobs disappear and more people find themselves without work. 

Nothing could be more heartless -- or less in the spirit of the season. Tell Republican leaders in Congress to end their "War on Christmas" and extend unemployment benefits now. 

When it comes to Christmas, Republicans talk a big game, but sometimes it's hard to tell if they understand what holidays are really about. Regardless of what you call them or how you choose to observe them, the holiday season is about family. It's about community. It's about lifting up people who are struggling and taking care of each other. And that's what makes this situation so appalling. 

I know that getting Republicans in Congress to act is always a long shot, but if we can get them to move on anything, it's this. After all, at the end of the day, even the Grinch had a heart. And deep inside, Republicans know that at this time of year especially we should be showing each other compassion and care -- not taking from those who really need it. 

So this holiday season, let's come together to tell Republicans enough with the Scrooge act -- end your "War on Christmas" and give millions of people the gift of financial security over the holidays. 

Thank you for standing with us, 

Jim 

Jim Dean 
Chair, Democracy for America

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