President Obama signed a six-month extension of emergency jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed on Thursday, restoring aid to nearly 3 million people whose checks have been cut off since the program expired in early June.
The White House signing ceremony came barely three hours after the House approved the $34 billion measure on a vote of 272 to 152. The Senate passed the measure Wednesday after a months-long stalemate.
"Americans who are fighting to find a good job and support their families will finally get the support they need to get back on their feet during these tough economic times," Obama said in a statement. He called on Congress to swiftly approve additional measures to create jobs and bolster the sluggish recovery, including a package of small-business incentives that faced a battery of GOP objections in the Senate late Thursday.
"Small businesses are the engine of job growth, and measures to cut their taxes and make lending available should not be held hostage to partisan tactics like those that unconscionably held up unemployment insurance," Obama said.
The jobless bill revives a program that provides up to 99 weeks of income support to those who have lost their jobs in the recession. Advocates for the unemployed said checks in some states are likely to go out quickly; in others, people can expect a delay of several weeks.
I don't care how it gets paid for it's the right thing to do--to think, the MSM media has been focusing more on Shirley Sherrod than the millions of families desperately in need of jobless benefits of late shows you once again where their priorities are.