The Senate is expected to hold a procedural vote Monday to extend the unemployment benefits, but Republican leaders in the House have demanded offsets to cover the $6.4 billion price tag before they extend the program in their chamber.
Democrats have seemed unwilling to pay for the insurance by cutting federal programs elsewhere.
Reed says extending the benefits is an emergency, not an opportunity to discuss ways to cut the federal deficit.
"We need to save these people who basically fell of the cliff last week," Reed says.
As Congress begins the debate on unemployment benefits, McGinnis is optimistic lawmakers will feel compelled to act after hearing stories like hers.
"There are so many people in this situation," McGinnis says. "Hopefully 2014 will be a better year. Hopefully it will be a better year for everybody."