In his weekly address on Saturday, President Barack Obama said Congress should act to extend emergency unemployment insurance for more than one million Americans who have lost this economic lifeline while looking for a job. Letting emergency unemployment insurance expire not only harms American families, but is also a drag on the overall economy, Obama said.
"If folks cannot pay their bills or buy the basics, like food and clothes, local businesses take a hit and hire fewer workers," the President said. "That is why the independent Congressional Budget Office says that unless Congress restores this insurance, we will feel a drag on our economic growth this year. And after our businesses created more than two million new jobs last year, that is a self-inflicted wound we do not need." He urged both political parties to pass the bipartisan three-month extension under consideration in the Senate "so that we can once again focus on expanding opportunities for the middle class and creating jobs for all hardworking Americans."