Obama Calls for Restoring Unemployment Benefits

HONOLULU (AP) -

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

In his weekly radio and internet address, Obama said the unemployment insurance is a “vital economic lifeline” for many people. And he said failure to reinstate the benefits would cause the economy to slow for all Americans.

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

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

The measure passed the House in December.