Obama calls on Republicans to extend unemployment relief

“Across the country, this stonewalling has already blocked assistance to 2.5 million Americans, and hundreds of thousands more are impacted by each additional week of delay,” the White House stated. 

Obama highlighted that many Republicans have previously supported unemployment extensions under Republican administrations but now refuse to offer relief to jobless workers. 

Senate Republicans fired back, noting that last month they tried three times to pay for an extension, all of which were rejected by Democrats.

Democrats have argued the extension does not have to be paid for. But Senate Republicans highlighted that late last year Democrats offset an extension to the program. 

The Senate is expected to take up the measure Tuesday, after Carte Goodwin, a former chief counsel to West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin (D), is sworn in to replace Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.).