Weekly addresses: Obama pushes jobless benefits extension, GOP slams health care act
December 7th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
9 months ago

Weekly addresses: Obama pushes jobless benefits extension, GOP slams health care act

(CNN) - President Barack Obama continued to put pressure on Republicans on Saturday to extend unemployment benefits while Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina heaped criticism on the Affordable Care Act.

Their comments came in weekly addresses.

White House address:

Allowing unemployment benefits to expire will "actually harm our economy," Obama said, hitting Republicans in what’s been termed a do-nothing Congress for failing to take action.

"Unemployment insurance is one of the most effective ways there is to boost our economy. When people have money to spend on basic necessities, that means more customers for our businesses and, ultimately, more jobs. And the evidence shows that unemployment insurance doesn’t stop people from trying hard to find work.

Obama continued: "But now that economic lifeline is in jeopardy. All because Republicans in this Congress - which is on track to be the most unproductive in history - have so far refused to extend it."

On December 28, unemployment benefits will expire for 1.3 million workers. In order for the jobless benefits to continue, lawmakers must extend the recession-era program by the end of the month. The Congressional Budget Office notes that if the benefits expire the U.S. GDP could fall 0.2 percentage points next year.

Obama's remarks echo comments he made in a speech earlier this week on the growing gap between the wealthy and the poor in the United States.

Obama says wage and income gap eroding American dream

Republican House Speaker John Boehner suggested that Republicans are open to the idea of extending benefits.

GOP address:

Ellmers, chairwoman of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee, linked the so-called "war on women" to Obama's sweeping health care law.

"After all, it’s often women who make the health care decisions for our families. We put a lot of time and thought into these choices and how they’ll affect our budgets," she said in the GOP weekly address.

"So by canceling your insurance - despite a promise to let you keep your plan - the Obama administration is essentially saying it knows what’s best for you and your family. Not only that, they are making you pay more - usually much more - and in many cases, taking away the doctors you’ve been seeing for years."

Ellmers went on to share stories of constituents in her North Carolina district who face cancellations of their insurance policy because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and pushed for a delay of the individual mandate portion of that law.

Obama's health care law's online rollout was marred with technical issues after its initial launch in October. Though the functionality of the site has improved, reports of canceled insurance plans have continued to plague the President as he defends the merits of his signature legislation.

Republicans have hammered the Obama administration on both issues, continuing to point to a pledge the President made in 2009 and 2010 that if you had an insurance plan you liked, you could keep that plan under his health care reform.

"For our part, Republicans will continue to listen, focus on jobs, and give this law the scrutiny it deserves," Ellmers said.

"If the president won't scrap this law, isn't it time for him to delay it for all Americans before it does further harm?"


Filed under: Healthcare • President Obama • Renee Ellmers • unemployment
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    ACA is a Law. Period. Bickering does not work. Better not to be idiotic. You put up or shut up.

    December 7, 2013 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  2. MaryM

    To the GOP: Its the law whether you like it or not and it is NOT going to get repealed. There are millions of Americans that have pre-existing conditions and other health problems that NEED this law.. I suggest you and your republicans friends work to improve it or get the hell out of the way so that Americans that need this law can improve it.

    December 7, 2013 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Obama wants to HIDE the fact, that he still has done nothing to create jobs in America..........that the main jobs he has created, were jobs slinging burgers at McDonald's...........which is why he thinks it makes sense to pay a burger slinger $15. an hour. .........to make the job look like a real job, when it was intended as a job for teens, part time, while in high school.

    December 7, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  4. Gunderson

    Uh,
    Want fix economy. Simple. REPEAL OBAMA CARE NOW, EXTEND BUSH TAX CUTS FOR AT LEAST 10 MORE YEARS !! Either that or watch economy go right down drain.

    December 7, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  5. Kinard

    GOP Slams health care. GOP Slams health care. These clowns are in a rut. Hope someone fills them in.

    December 7, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  6. Evergreen

    Ellmers said ...."the Republicans will continue to listen and focus on jobs..." The country has been waiting since 2010 for the GOP to keep their promise of jobs jobs jobs.

    December 7, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  7. wendel

    congress is a one trick pony.

    December 7, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  8. Tampa Tim

    You right wingnuts get to keep your junk policies for another year, so start celebrating. It's the insurance companies that are now canceling policies. Stupid republicans. Get off your lazy butts and do something to help Americans.

    December 7, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  9. Evergreen

    It's your employer and healthcare insurance company who are "sitting at the table" making your healthcare decision. They choose your plan. How does this relate to a "war on women."

    December 7, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  10. Tony in Maine

    Note to GOP, you can stamp your feet, hold your breath, scream until traffic stops in Time Sq., we are NOT going back to blood letting, bark and leeches.

    So – and I'll delete the rest of my thought except the last word which is "up."

    December 7, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  11. pkMyt1

    So the Grand Obstructionist Party is still primarily focused on derailing Obama care instead of negotiating a budget or jobs or almost anything else.

    December 7, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  12. Peppy

    Its very sad when a leader cannot lead. Although a very good campaigner.

    December 7, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  13. rs

    The do-nothings at work… when it comes right down to it the Republicans really just don't Americans (34 million of 'em) to get health care -or jobs.That's their "Merry Christmas", I guess.

    December 7, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  14. freedom

    We don't want jobless benefits! We want jobs!! We have a work ethic in this country that Obama can't destroy. Your transformation of America is a big failure.

    December 7, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  15. Gurgyl

    To all readers, do you know why these rethuglican congress thugs bicker on Healthcare Law? I bet they took bribes from insurance companies, doctors, pharmacy thugs. I better ask USA to investigate, put a commission on ot, nab these congress idiots, send them to prisons–these animals belong there.

    December 7, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  16. John

    "Pushing our youth and poor into health insurance" will once and for all take the burden off of hospitals/tax payers from having to cover the invincibles ......................they say they don't need insurance,.....until that car wreck, their drug overdose, or their child getting a 105 degree temperature.......everyone should have access......

    December 7, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  17. CB FL

    It is winter in most places of the Us so this is the best time for the GOP not extend unemployment ins for millions of people. They really don't care about anything except cutting taxes for the rich.

    December 7, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  18. Dan5404

    The latest jobs report included a significant number of high-paying jobs, no hamburger pushers. Also, raising the minimum wage has always proved that it helps the American economy by additional billions in consumer spending and taking many people off government aid. One Republican CEO of a large corporation is pushing for it and said if Wal-Mart raised the minimum pay rate to $12 an hour, they could raise prices 1 per cent and pay for all of it.

    December 7, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. Tampa Tim

    Republicans are trying to hide the fact that, under Obama, 8 millions jobs have been created in the last 47 months without a single republican vote. Bush lost 8 million in his last year.

    December 7, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  20. Tea :Party Thomas

    America will be better off without Obama Care. Impeach Obama and Biden then repeal that hated Obama Care.

    December 7, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  21. Tampa Tim

    It is hilarious that republicans are having trouble signing on to the ACA website, when it's so easy even Boehner can do it.

    December 7, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  22. Tampa Tim

    Republicans must realize that the Bush tax cuts did not create jobs, but did add almost $2 trillion onto our national debt. Surely they know that.

    December 7, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    All three of my morning comments have been scrubbed. What's the matter CNN? You can moderate until the cows come home but that doesn't and won't stop others from sharing my viewpoints. This forum is not conducive to conversation. It takes hours to get a comment printed or not printed depending on the moderator. This forum is nothing more than a Rush Limbaugh baiting session taken over by Libertarians who shout everyone down with personal insults and woe is me victimhood which is neither amusing nor enlightening. Read the comments from the right. They don't agree with you? They hurl insults and personal jabs. I would suggest the moderator go back a read a few months worth of comments from just saying and tom I and Me and anonymous and Donna and Fair is Fair. These people have been around for quite some time posting their insults against those on the other side with whom they disagree. They nag. Oh, do they nag. They follow other posters from one article to another simply to insult. Many post under a variety of different names. What they all have in common is their Libertarian ideology. And when they are called out on their insults, they turn into victims hoping CNN moderators will side with them and cut out those who these fools have spent too much time tracking down on the ticker simply to insult and bully.

    How very sad that a major news organization would continue to allow trolls to take over what was once a well moderated comment section.

    December 7, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  24. Tampa Tim

    One morning, Fox reported the ACA website cost $93 million, but by the same night, Sean Hannity had it over $600 million. Still less than the $24 billion the republican shutdown cost us.

    December 7, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  25. Terik Ororke

    Just wait until the new health care law forces people to pay astronomical fees for medicines - yes it was all negotiated with the democratic leaders who wrote the bill.

    December 7, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
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