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Obama to GOP: Extend jobless benefits

President Obama on Tuesday accused Republican critics who oppose extending federal unemployment benefits of selling “the American people short.

Shortly after the Senate voted to move a three-month extension of the benefits forward, Obama sought to tie himself to unemployed workers, who he said were neither lazy nor lacking in motivation.

“I can't name a time when I met an American who would rather have an unemployment check than the pride of having a job,” Obama said.
Unemployed workers are “coping with the aftermath of the worst economic crisis in generations.”

The White House is using the unemployment fight as part of a broader effort aimed at winning over working-class and middle-class voters in a midterm election year. Much of the effort centers around issues of income inequality, and along with the unemployment issue the White House is calling for a hike to the minimum wage.

House Republican leaders have said they will only consider an extension if its $6.4 billion cost is offset and if it includes other provisions backed by Republicans.

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