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Obama calls senators to back extension on jobless benefits

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[December 30, 2013]  HONOLULU (Reuters)  President Barack Obama called Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, and Senator Dean Heller, Republican of Nevada, on Friday to back their proposal to extend emergency unemployment benefits for three months.

Those benefits will expire on Saturday for about 1.3 million Americans. A vote on the Reed/Heller bill is likely in early January, when the U.S. Senate returns from recess.

Obama said his administration would push Congress to act promptly and in bipartisan fashion on the issue. Cutting off the benefits will have a negative impact on U.S. economic growth and job creation, the White House said.

(Reporting by Ros Krasny and Suzanne Roig; editing by Leslie Adler)

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