President Barack Obama and Democrats will make a major push when Congress returns January 6 to renew expired benefits for the unemployed and will seek to pressure Republicans over the issue by painting them as uncaring toward the middle class. Federal unemployment benefits will officially expire for 1.3 million out-of-work Americans on Saturday. With Congress in recess, no last-minute fix is possible. Democrats have spent much of the holiday week criticizing Republicans for resisting an extension of the emergency jobless aid program, which began in 2008 under President George W. Bush and has been extended every year since then.
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