Obama to speak on unemployment benefits extension Tuesday

HONOLULU Fri Jan 3, 2014 2:00pm EST

U.S. President Barack Obama pauses during his his year-end news conference in the White House briefing room in Washington, December 20, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. President Barack Obama pauses during his his year-end news conference in the White House briefing room in Washington, December 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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HONOLULU (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will ratchet up his administration's push for an extension of emergency unemployment benefits on Tuesday with an event at the White House attended by people whose benefits have expired.

Obama, who is on vacation in Hawaii, and his advisers have been pressing Congress to extend the federal aid to help out-of-work Americans who are searching for jobs and avoid damage to the economy.

"The president will talk about the toll that allowing unemployment benefits to expire has had on 1.3 million Americans, and he'll warn of the negative consequences for the broader American economy if Congress fails to act quickly on this urgent priority," the White House said in a statement.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, has vowed to bring to a vote a bill extending federal unemployment insurance benefits as soon as Congress returns from its holiday recess on January 6.

The federal jobless aid has been renewed every year since 2008. Many Republicans oppose an extension of jobless benefits, arguing the program was always intended to be temporary. They have also said an extension would add to the federal deficit unless it is offset by spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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Comments (17)
After reading Bighammerman’s comments, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly right-wing talking points become dispersed throughout the “bubble” within a few days after appearing on whatever pseudo-news source easiest to consume, like some kind of rhetorical “Human Centipede”.

The latest? Obama is “failing to provide an economic environment that allows businesses to flourish” – almost word-for-word every place you hear it! Can these people think at all? Do they comprehend what these words mean?? Why is there never even the slightest attempt to re-word the phrases to give the impression that it’s an original thought???

And regarding the actual content: “creating an economic environment that allows businesses to flourish”… I would love for him, or anyone who’s parroted that phrase in the last few days, to explain just exactly what that means and how does a president accomplish that? Does he need to put on a cheerleaders uniform and start doing some “Ra Ra Ra’s”? Maybe take them out for some tea and crumpets? Or maybe he just needs to start using a higher grade of “economic fertilizer”?

How are businesses not “flourishing” already? The DOW is constantly hitting record highs, corporations are more profitable than ever – even the Detroit auto industry is better than it was before the recession. So where, pray tell, is this prohibitive economic environment they’ve been talking about?

Jan 03, 2014 5:33pm EST  --  Report as abuse
And regarding his other point: “Look at what is happening around the world. He is destroying the globe as well using foreign policy that promotes violence.”

“A foreign policy that promotes violence”? Disregarding the fact that he provided zero evidence to back up that claim, that’s the GOP’s MO; what is he complaining about??? He must have forgotten that every Republican president in the last half century has started a war or been involved in questionable covert operations somewhere in the world.

A republican complaining about aggressive use of the US military? Never heard that one before. Actually, let me re-phrase that: a republican complaining about Obama doing something they used to love? Now that sounds more familiar.

Jan 03, 2014 5:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Honestly though, there is a real discussion that needs to be had about this topic. All I hear from republicans is “Unemployed people are nothing but lazy bums” and all I hear from democrats is “Republicans are just cruel!” All of them just repeating the same lines you’ve heard from them a million times before.

Although it’s clear that conservatives have bought into their own narrative about “unemployed = lazy”, there are some who have asked legitimate questions: for how long do we continue to extend them? At what point does it just become welfare? When SHOULD unemployment “benefits” expire?

Those are fair questions that deserve answers. So far, I haven’t heard anything, except each party vilifying their chosen targets. And corporate America is more than happy to let us, the little people, continue to go at each others throats while they make out like bandits with our money.

Jan 03, 2014 5:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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