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Obama signs unemployment extension bill

Nov. 6, 2009 at 4:58 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law legislation that provides tax cuts for businesses, extends unemployment benefits and gives help to home buyers.

"The need for such a measure was made clear by the jobs report that we received this morning," Obama said Friday. "Although we lost fewer jobs than we did last month, our unemployment rate climbed to over 10 percent -- a sobering number that underscores the economic challenges that lie ahead."

This bill reduces taxes for struggling businesses "with even larger cuts for small businesses," Obama said, opening opportunities for entrepreneurs to get funds needed to avoid layoffs or closing their doors.

The legislation also extends unemployment benefits up to 20 weeks, he said, with the longest extension for directed to the hardest hit states.

The rebound in the housing market was a key factor contributing to the economic growth seen in the third quarter and "brought hundreds of thousands of families into the housing market," he said. "We want to give even more families the chance to own their own home."

The measure doesn't add to the deficit, Obama said.

"It is fully paid for and so it is fiscally responsible," Obama said, while building on the economic stimulus package.

Obama said his economic team was looking to build on the bill he signed Friday.

Officials are looking at ideas to invest in aging roads and bridges, encourage energy efficiency, further tax cuts for business and an "aggressive agenda" to promote U.S. exports.

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