Obama to GOP: Extend jobless benefits

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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.

Read more from The Hill.