WOODBURY - Reps. Steve Israel and Tim Bishop called on House Republicans today to swiftly extend long-term unemployment benefits that are set to run out.

Israel says 1.3 million Americans will lose their benefits if Congress fails to pass an extension for long-term unemployment coverage.

"This is the absolute worst time, during an economic recovery, to cut the knees off of unemployed workers and middle class families who lost jobs to no fault of their own," he said.

Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) is one of a handful of House Republicans asking the party's leadership to vote on a temporary extension of the benefits. However, House Speaker John Boehner has said the House will only consider such a proposal if it is accompanied by cuts elsewhere in the budget.

While the debate rages on in the House, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is promising a vote on an extension by Jan. 7.