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President Obama calls for ‘Year of Action’ to grow U.S. economy

In a speech at the White House U.S. President Barack Obama continues to urge Republicans to help the economy and millions of Americans by passing a much-needed unemployment benefit extension, Jan. 7, 2014.
In a speech at the White House U.S. President Barack Obama continues to urge Republicans to help the economy and millions of Americans by passing a much-needed unemployment benefit extension, Jan. 7, 2014.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

On Saturday at the White House in his weekly address U.S. President Barack Obama called for a “Year of Action” to build a stronger U.S. economy, starting with another call for republicans in Congress to support a reinstatement of the extension of unemployment insurance benefits for millions of Americans and with his administration’s continued work with businesses to find ways to promote private sector job growth.

Noting that despite positive signs in the general economy including stronger manufacturing, housing, energy, technology and auto sectors, President Obama stated, “Our success as a country depends on more than the success of our broader economy; it depends on the success of the American people. It depends on your ability to make ends meet, provide for your families, and, with a little hard work, feel like you can get ahead.”

“This will be a year of action,” he added. “I’ll keep doing everything I can to create new jobs and new opportunities for American families – with Congress, on my own, and with everyone willing to play their part. And that action should begin by extending unemployment insurance for Americans who were laid off in the recession through no fault of their own.”

Presently, the lack of an unemployment insurance benefit extension is financially hurting 1.3 million Americans, making it difficult for many families to put food on the table or purchase much needed heating fuel. According to the President, if Republicans in Congress fail to work with Democrats for an extension, over the course of the year 14 million Americans will be negatively affected.

Obama also discussed his continuing efforts this month to work for increased job creation through talks with university leaders in order to find ways to match workers with skills required and with business CEOs in order to find ways to help the long-term unemployed gain employment.