Weekly addresses: Obama pushes jobless benefits extension, GOP slams health care act
December 7th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
12 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. Hillrey

    the Kenyan can speak?

    December 7, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. rs

    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.
    ______________
    Remind me again Rick, just how many jobs bills did the do-nothing Republicans pass?

    December 7, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. rs

    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.
    _________________________
    Sorry, thee of fake-O accents, 40 years of lavishing the rich with tax cuts are what built the great American deficit. Time to tax the rich, you know the poor babies like the President of McDonalds who tripled HIS salary to $14 million. Clearly they can afford to pay a livable minimum wage.

    December 7, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. rs

    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.
    _______________
    Good for your Freedom! Too bad the only way the Right knows to create jobs is to give the rich tax cuts, which as 40 years of evidence shows us, doesn't build jobs. It just makes the rich richer.

    December 7, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. smith

    Three more years and we can finally flush the toilet.

    December 7, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. tom l

    @Tampa Timmy
    "Get off your lazy butts and do something to help Americans."

    ======

    You tell 'em Timmy! Yeah! You lazy republicans! Get off your butts by forcing Americans who happen to have more money than you and make them take that money and give it to the government!!! Then you won't be lazy.

    December 7, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. RonL

    Yes, the unemployment benefits needs to be extended because MANY of these that are the long term unemployed are people over 50 that NO ONE will hire because they have been out of work over a year. Many of these individuals were actually employed before the recession earning middle class wages. Once they were laid off and attempted to find even low wage jobs they were over looked. I experienced this for 18months before getting a Security job at $10.00 an hour. One thing that will improve the economy is RAISING the minimum wage to $11.00 a hour. Why? Because there are too many Americans working part-time and FULL time that require government assistance in order to survive. The raising of the minimum wage will DECREASE the American deficit and actually spur economic growth. I am not speaking as a liberal or conservative, just looking at the economics. Why should people working FULL TIME in some of most successful companies in the world require government SNAP assistance? The Republican Party is always saying the growth in the amount of SNAP assistance is out of control. Maybe if we got the 100’s of thousands of WORKING Americans off the rolls through a “LIVING WAGE” there would be a significant reduction in its costs to the American tax payer. This is long over due…..

    December 7, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. RonL

    One other thing...the President has supported a increase to $10.10 not $15.00...PLEASE quit distorting the truth.

    December 7, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. GonzoinHouston

    "In their weekly radio address, Republicans slammed the ACA" In other news, the sun came up in the east.

    "Dog bites man" is not news,
    neither is "republicans attack Obamacare".

    December 7, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. Gunderson

    Humm,
    Know why Liberilism big failure? I give you 17 Trillion Reasons.

    December 7, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  11. Peppy

    @rs, dude, get a grip your guy cant find his backside much less run America.

    December 7, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  12. Peppy

    Oh that's right I did meet my illegal, dui uncle, my bad !!!

    December 7, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  13. breathe deep

    It's just a shame gunderson that 12 trillion of your reasons are from conservatism.

    December 7, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  14. rs

    om l
    @Tampa Timmy
    "Get off your lazy butts and do something to help Americans."

    ======

    You tell 'em Timmy! Yeah! You lazy republicans! Get off your butts by forcing Americans who happen to have more money than you and make them take that money and give it to the government!!! Then you won't be lazy.
    ___________________
    I will never understand the radical Right's lust for the super-rich. In my day Republicans stood for personal responsibility. How does that jive with the super rich paying lower tax rates than the middle class? Sure, the big GOP lie is that makes jobs. They can't explain how, and 40 years of evidence proves otherwise, but the GOP still pushes it. The last GOPper with appropriate tax rates was Eisenhower- 89% for the top bracket. Guess what? We built infrastructure in America (Freeways), and we had no debt and deficit.
    Face it Tom- the GOP hates anyone but the rich- you are nothing to them, yet you shill for their policies that actually work against you. That is a sad story!

    December 7, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    Funny how when the Obamacare website has a problem, the repubs want to repeal the whole law. The Walmart website went down over the Thanksgiving weekend – where were the calls to get rid of Walmart?

    December 7, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain

    @Gunderson: "Humm, Know why Liberilism big failure? I give you 17 Trillion Reasons."

    Based on your inability to write proper English, I'd say you are a perfect example of the failure of folks on the right.

    December 7, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  17. don in albuquerque

    @Gunderson-If you would start listing one by one those 17 trillion reasons, we will not hear from you again in this life time. That would be something most of us would appreciate. And no you cannot list the same one. Come on hotshot Heidi's Grandpa. Get with it.

    December 7, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  18. ThinkAgain

    @RonL: "The raising of the minimum wage will DECREASE the American deficit and actually spur economic growth. I am not speaking as a liberal or conservative, just looking at the economics."

    Yes, you are completely correct. Putting more money in the hands of working people who will actually spend it creates demand for goods and services, which boosts production, which leads to more job creation.

    What repubs don't like about this is that it goes against their long-term goals of eliminating the American class and flipping our country so that WE are the slave-wage workers living in desperate poverty supplying the cheap goods to the rising third-world middle classes.

    December 7, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    Per the Congressional Budget Office, between 1979 and 2007, here are the percentage change in after-tax income:

    Bottom 5th of wage earners: Up 16%
    Middle 5th of wage earners: Up 25%
    Highest 5th of wage earners: Up 95%
    Top 1% of wage earners: Up 281%

    The ultra-wealthy in this country are not hurting, so quit crying about them. They can afford to pay more in taxes, especially since all those lucrative tax breaks under Bush did NOT result in job creation here in the U.S.

    It's the least they can do for the country that has given them so much.

    December 7, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  20. GOP = Greed Over People

    "Yes, the unemployment benefits needs to be extended because MANY of these that are the long term unemployed are people over 50 that NO ONE will hire because they have been out of work over a year. Many of these individuals were actually employed before the recession earning middle class wages. Once they were laid off and attempted to find even low wage jobs they were over looked. I experienced this for 18 months before getting a Security job at $10.00 an hour. One thing that will improve the economy is RAISING the minimum wage to $11.00 a hour. Why? Because there are too many Americans working part-time and FULL time that require government assistance in order to survive. The raising of the minimum wage will DECREASE the American deficit and actually spur economic growth. I am not speaking as a liberal or conservative, just looking at the economics. Why should people working FULL TIME in some of most successful companies in the world require government SNAP assistance? The Republican Party is always saying the growth in the amount of SNAP assistance is out of control. Maybe if we got the 100’s of thousands of WORKING Americans off the rolls through a “LIVING WAGE” there would be a significant reduction in its costs to the American tax payer. This is long over due….."

    Ditto and very well stated, RonL! And let it begin with Walmart, which makes 17 BILLION bucks of PROFIT in one quarter, yet pays workers 7.25/hour and recommends they use tax payer money to allow them to feed their families! Delta is another, whining how Obamacare(s) will cost them 100 million a year when the annual profit is 1 Billion a year. Seems to me the workers are at least worth a 10% reinvestment in them and the stock holders should be fine with getting the other 90%. This "libtard" adheres more to the teachings of the original "librul" and since, thanks to the SCOTUS, corporations are now people, so should "they"!

    And you must forgive the Fox trolls, you see they get their "facts" from some radio blowhard that pulls $15/hour out of his blowhole, instead of the real facts that President O backs an increase to 10.10/hour.

    I would add that your entire post is predicated on the fact the GOP actually has an interest in helping those among us that must work 40 hour weeks and still make less than $300. "Compassionate conservatism" only applies to those in their immediate sphere of influence, such as the "angel tree" at the mall, the cookie bake sale at the private school or the "outreach" program to clothe the needy once a year when they buy an extra coat and pair of mittens and give to their "church". No need to worry about those outside of their immediate region, and that makes it easier for them to label them "welfare queens" and further degrade and marginalize them so they are soon subhuman lazy drags on society, instead of living, breathing human beings.

    The GOP version of "chri$tianity" is all about worshiping at the alter of the all mighty dollar, and showing empathy for real human beings would be a novel approach for most Republicans.

    In fact, to many, especially the tea baggers, "empathy" is a slur, as it goes against their creed of "I got mine, screw you".

    December 7, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  21. shutupalready

    So because something is expiring...meaning it is not a permanent thing..it's the Republicans fault? I'm not for the Dems or Repubs but come on...there's a reason for deadlines and by continuously pushing them out they become permanent obligations instead of temporary. Just like the food stamp expirations, everyone was crying that they were getting cut..no.. their "temporary" increase expired. Quit giving in to the scare tactics from Obama and let them expire like they are meant to.

    December 7, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  22. Liz the First

    @Gunderson
    Humm,
    Know why Liberilism big failure? I give you 17 Trillion Reasons
    --–
    Um, hate to break it to ya, but Jesus was a liberal! was He a failure??? if you're referring to the debt, most of it can be laid at the feet of YOUR presidents! Bill Clinton left King George the Lesser a SURPLUS that he promptly squandered with tax cuts for the rich and two unbudgeted wars. Obama has had to spend to clean up YOUR 'president's mess!

    December 7, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  23. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    GOP slams health care act... In other news, the earth is round.

    December 7, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  24. simplyput

    @rs
    Republicans have passed plenty of job bills...they are all on Harry Reid's desk, and will never be voted on. He's the biggest loser in the Dem party....rubber donkey.

    December 7, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  25. Peppy

    @ Tampa Timmy and rs, Just like bammy 1 lie after another out of your pieholes. I am glad your watching fox and Hannity, a step in the right direction !!!! LOL

    December 7, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
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