“. . . on the backs of the unemployed.”

This was a phrase President Obama used as he discussed the burden many Americans have faced as a result of the filibuster . . .

“Think about what these stalling tactics mean for the millions of Americans who’ve lost their jobs since the recession began. Over the past several weeks, more than two million of them have seen their unemployment insurance expire. For many, it was the only way to make ends meet while searching for work – the only way to cover rent, utilities, even food. Three times, the Senate has tried to temporarily extend that emergency assistance. And three times, a minority of Senators – basically the same crowd who said ‘no’ to small businesses – said ‘no’ to folks looking for work, and blocked a straight up-or-down vote.”

Those were the consequences President Obama listed as he decried Republican filibuster tactics that have hindered many initiatives that have come before Congress in recent years. Chief amongst this list of concerns as of late is the repeated denial of extended unemployment benefits. President Obama, once again, called Republicans out for their stalling tactics and challenged the criticism that such benefits would have ultimately stimied growth – the argument that unemployment benefits somehow equals another form of welfare:

“They say it discourages folks from looking for work. Well, I’ve met a lot of folks looking for work these past few years, and I can tell you, I haven’t met any American who would rather have an unemployment check than a meaningful job that lets you provide for your family.”

And the President wasn’t done there. Highlighting claims of hypocrisy that have often been pointed at Republican lawmakers, President Obama noted this about those who have denied such benefits,

“They say we shouldn’t provide unemployment insurance because it costs money. So after years of championing policies that turned a record surplus into a massive deficit, including a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, they’ve finally decided to make their stand on the backs of the unemployed. They’ve got no problem spending money on tax breaks for folks at the top who don’t need them and didn’t even ask for them; but they object to helping folks laid off in this recession who really do need help.”

And now, the President’s Weekly Address:

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