Obama to Congress: Extend Jobless Aid

President Barack Obama urged Republicans in Congress to pass an extension of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, saying the bill helps "keep food on the table" for needy Americans and creates jobs. "These aren't folks who are just sitting back waiting for things to happen," Obama said after the Senate narrowly voted Tuesday to advance a 3-month extension of benefits for about 1.3 million jobless Americans. Six Republicans joined with all present Democrats to vote 60-37 to begin formal debate on the bill, which would retroactively restore federal aid payments to those whose aid expired at the year's end. The aid kicks in when state benefits expire, typically after about 26 weeks or more in most states, according to NBC News. Even if the bill eventually clears the Senate it's not clear the GOP-led House will take it up, according to NBC News. In a statement, House Speaker John Boehner said any extension of the program should be "paid for" and contain House-backed job creation plans. "To date, the president has offered no such plan," he said.

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