Obama calls on Congress to renew jobless benefits

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By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — President Barack Obama is keeping the heat on lawmakers to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.

His plea Wednesday during an event at North Carolina State University comes as compromise talks in the Senate have hit roadblocks and left the aid for more than a million people in doubt.

Obama is demanding that Congress "do the right thing and extend this vital lifeline."

The benefit program expired Dec. 28, cutting off support for more than 1.3 million unemployed people.

Obama is taking note that North Carolina's unemployment rate is higher than the national average.

He says the job market remains difficult in parts of the country and that people need the support while they are looking for a new job.

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