America

Obama Will Call On Congress To Extend Long-Term Unemployment Benefits

This morning, President Obama will call on lawmakers to extend unemployment benefits for people who have been out of work for a long period of time, NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

The president is scheduled to speak in the Rose Garden at the White House.

According to The Washington Post's Michael D. Shear, "The gloves are off."

For the second time in three days, President Obama is planning to unload on his Republican adversaries, calling them out for blocking the passage of emergency unemployment insurance.

About 2.5 million unemployed Americans have already exhausted their jobless benefits, and unless Congress acts to extend the safety net, hundreds of thousands more will stop getting checks this month. The average unemployed U.S. worker has been out of a job for more than 35 weeks.

"Such extensions were routine in the past, but Congress has grown wary of any additional spending that would add to the deficit," Horlsey explains.

According to a White House official, the president will criticize Republicans for blocking the additional jobless benefits, while at the same time advocating tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

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