Obama: Congress Shouldn’t Have Left Town Without Extending Unemployment Benefits


President Barack Obama criticized Congress, and specifically Congressional Republicans, for going home for the holidays without coming to an agreement with Democrats on extending unemployment insurance.

Obama, speaking at a press conference Friday, first praised both Democratic and Republican lawmakers for coming to an agreement on the Murray-Ryan budget framework. But Obama then said that Republican lawmakers should have also come to an agreement with Democrats on extending unemployment benefits that cover roughly 1.3 million Americans who are seeking work.

“I believe that work should begin with something that Republicans should’ve done before leaving town this week and that’s restoring the temporary insurance that helps folks make ends meet when they’re looking for a job,” Obama said.

The president then said extending unemployment benefits should be lawmakers’ first order of business when they come back from their holiday vacation.

“So when Congress comes back to work their first order of business should be to making this right,” Obama said.