President Obama and the Hispanic Community

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

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EMBARGOED UNTIL 6:00 AM ET, SATURDAY, January 4, 2013

WHITE HOUSE VIDEO MESSAGE: Congress must act to extend unemployment insurance

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week’s message, Director of the Domestics Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz discusses the importance of Congress extending unemployment insurance when they return back to Washington next week. Unemployment insurance provides a vital lifeline to millions of Americans, including many Latinos, who are looking for work.

The audio of the address and video of the message is available online HERE.

Remarks by Cecilia Muñoz

Spanish Weekly Address

The White House

January 4, 2013

Hi, everybody, and Happy New Year. 

This is a time when we look ahead to all the possibilities and opportunities of the year to come – when we resolve to better ourselves, and to better our relationships with one another.  And today, I want to talk about how we can make a real and powerful difference in the lives of many of our fellow Americans right now.

Just a few days after Christmas, more than one million of our fellow Americans lost a vital economic lifeline – the temporary insurance that helps folks make ends meet while they look for a job.  Republicans in Congress went home for the holidays and let that lifeline expire.  And for many who are unemployed through no fault of their own, that decision will leave them with no income at all. 

It makes a difference to a mother who needs help feeding her kids while she looks for work; to a father who needs help paying the rent while learning the skills to get a new and better job.  And denying families that security is just plain cruel.  We’re a better country than that. 

That’s why the independent Congressional Budget Office says that unless Congress restores this insurance, we’ll feel a drag on our economic growth this year.  And after our businesses created more than two million new jobs last year, that’s a self-inflicted wound we don’t need.

So when Congress comes back to work this week, their first order of business should be making this right. Instead of punishing families, Republicans should make it their New Year’s resolution to do the right thing, and restore this vital economic security right now.

After all, our focus as a country this year shouldn’t be shrinking our economy, but growing it; not narrowing opportunity, but expanding it; not fewer jobs, but doing everything we can to help our businesses create more of the good jobs that a growing middle class requires. 

After five years of working and sacrificing to recover and rebuild from crisis, we have it within our power, right now, to move this country forward.  It’s entirely up to us.  And I am optimistic for the year that lies ahead. 

Thank you and have a great weekend.

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