National Government

Obama to make push for restoring jobless benefits

HONOLULU (AP) — President Barack Obama will press Congress to reinstate long-term unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans when he returns to Washington next week.

Obama will hold an event at the White House Tuesday, where he'll warn of negative consequences for the economy if Congress fails to act quickly. The White House says Obama will be joined at the event by Americans whose benefits expired in late December.

Under the benefits program, the federal government provided an average monthly stipend of $1,166. However, an extension was dropped from a bipartisan budget deal struck in December and Republican lawmakers have balked at its $26 billion annual cost.

Obama is vacationing in Hawaii and is due back in Washington on Sunday.

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