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Unemployment extension in 2014? Do it, Obama urges.

Unemployment extension for first three months of 2014 is proposed in the Senate. President Obama says an extension of unemployment benefits would be 'vital economic lifeline' for many.  

By Associated Press / January 4, 2014

Richard Mattos looks for jobs at a state-run employment center in Salem, Ore., last month. In his weekly radio and Internet address, President Obama urged Congress to pass an extension of unemployment benefits.

Jonathan J. Cooper/AP/File

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HONOLULU

President Barack Obama is urging Congress to reinstate jobless benefits for more than a million Americans.

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In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says the unemployment insurance is a "vital economic lifeline" for many people. And he says failure to reinstate the benefits will cause the economy to slow for all Americans.

A bipartisan proposal in the Senate would restore the benefits for three months. Obama says if lawmakers pass the measure, he will sign it.

Obama is due to return from vacation in Hawaii on Sunday.

Mississippi Congressman Gregg Harper delivered the Republican weekly address. He calls on the Senate to pass the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act. It seeks to boost funding for pediatric research at the National Institutes of Health.

The measure passed the House in December.

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