Saturday, January 04, 2014

Obama Urges Congress to Restore Unemployment Benefits --- WASHINGTON — President Obama, seeking the upper hand with Congress as he heads back from his Hawaiian vacation, insisted on Saturday that lawmakers make restoring unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans who are out of work their “first order of business” in the new year. -- An emergency program providing up to 47 weeks of supplemental payments to the long-term unemployed expired last month after Congress did not include an extension in a two-year budget deal passed before it left town for the holidays. Mr. Obama said in his weekly address on Saturday that he would sign legislation renewing the benefits for another three months. -- Mr. Obama said the program helped parents trying to feed children while they looked for work. “And denying families that security is just plain cruel,” the president said in the address, which was taped before his scheduled departure for Washington on Saturday night after two weeks on Oahu. “We’re a better country than that. We don’t abandon our fellow Americans when times get tough; we keep the faith with them until they start that new job.” -- Mr. Obama added, “Instead of punishing families who can least afford it, Republicans should make it their New Year’s resolution to do the right thing and restore this vital economic security for their constituents right now.” - More, NYTimes


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