Obama Pushes Republicans On Benefits

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 6:56am

President Obama demanded Monday that Republicans approve extended unemployment benefits.

They're refusing, saying an extension plan will increase the deficit.

"It's time to do what's right, not for the next election, but for the middle class," the president said.

Mr. Obama brought laid off workers Jim Chakulas of New Jersey, Leslie Macko of Virginia, and Denise Gibson to the White House as examples of citizens who could lose unemployment benefits if an extension is blocked tuesday by Republicans.

"The same people who didn't have any problem spending hundreds of billions of dollars on tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are now saying we shouldn't offer relief to middle class americans, like Jim or Leslie or Denise who really need help," he said.

Republicans say they're ready to help, but not if an extension increases the deficit.

Many political observers believe the hotly contested unemployment benefits will be extended as soon as West Virginia's new Democratic Senator Carte Goodwin is sworn in.

That will give the president the 60 votes he needs.

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