President Barack Obama “hasn’t given up” on an unemployment extension, Press Secretary Jay Carney said Thursday, even though a five-month bill is about to expire without action in the House.
Asked what the unemployed should think, Carney said they don’t have many friends in House Republican leadership. He said it’s a “shame” that the GOP hasn’t acted to extend the benefits. He also noted that Republicans supported an unemployment benefits extension under President George W. Bush when conditions were better than they are today.
Carney said the president is still calling on Congress to pass an extension and “hopes they do.”
At last check, however, Obama had not picked up the phone to call Speaker John A. Boehner to ask him what it would take to put a bill on the floor.
Nor has he threatened to veto any Republican priorities in return for an unemployment extension, or offer to back any of their priorities as part of a deal.