Obama Rips Senate GOP for 'Filibustering Our Recovery'
Pushes hard for jobless benefits, small-business tax breaks
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 17, 2010 8:59 AM CDT
President Barack Obama speaks to reporters outside the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 15, 2010.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – President Obama is slamming Senate Republicans who "filibuster our recovery and obstruct our progress" in his weekly address today, accusing them of making their stand at the expense of the unemployed "after years of championing policies that turned a record surplus into a massive deficit." Lawmakers have been battling for weeks over extending unemployment benefits to workers who have been out of a job for long stretches of time and a tax-break package for small businesses.

The House has already passed a bill to extend the benefits through November, but with the death of Sen. Robert Byrd, Senate Democrats don't have the 60 votes they need to overcome a GOP filibuster. The $34 billion needed to extend benefits would be borrowed, adding to the nation's mounting debt. Republicans have tapped into the public's anger and concern over that debt, saying they would only support extending benefits if the bill was paid for.