Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal Business coalition aims to provide jobs to Afghan refugees MORE reacted today to news that unemployment claims rose by 15,000 last week (12,000 due to Hurricane Ike), pledging that he will immediately extend unemployment benefits and grant emergency loans and tax credits to small businesses, if he is elected president.

See Obama's full statement, released by his campaign:
The news that more Americans filed for unemployment benefits this week and that unemployment claims remain near a seven-year high is another urgent reminder of how badly American workers need a change from the disastrous economic policies of the last eight years. While Washington has done nothing to extend unemployment benefits and create new jobs and John McCainJohn Sidney McCain20 years after 9/11, US foreign policy still struggles for balance What the chaos in Afghanistan can remind us about the importance of protecting democracy at home 'The View' plans series of conservative women as temporary McCain replacements MORE has no jobs plan whatsoever, I will immediately extend unemployment benefits, suspend the taxes on those benefits, and jumpstart job creation by giving small businesses emergency loans and tax credits for each new job they create.

House Democrats had pushed hard, to no avail, for this year's economic stimulus package to include an extension of unemployment benefits.