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Obama Asks Congress to Extend Jobless Benefits

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Speaking at the Rose Garden on Monday, President Barack Obama urged Congress to take action on legislation that would extend jobless benefits for millions of Americans.

A Senate vote on the measure is scheduled for Tuesday. As the Associated Press reports, the last benefits extender expired in May, meaning 2.5 million Americans lost their unemployment benefits.  

The president singled out Republicans for stalling a new extension, noting that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle had voted for similar measures under the Bush administration.

According to the most recent report from the U.S. Labor Department, the national unemployment rate was 9.5 percent in June, down slightly from May. More than fourteen and a half million people are out of work.

"We've got to stop blocking emergency relief for Americans who are out of work," the president said on Monday. "We've got to extend unemployment insurance. We need to pass those tax cuts for small businesses and lending for small businesses."