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Obama to speak on economy

July 19, 2010 at 6:55 AM
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WASHINGTON, July 19 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama will step up criticism of Republicans Monday in a speech on extending unemployment benefits, the White House said.

Obama planned a mid-morning statement in the Rose Garden in which he was to urge Congress to once again extend the jobless benefits and chastise Republicans for blocking the efforts, McClatchy Newspapers reported.

He also is expected to reiterate a theme of his weekly address given Saturday: Republicans oppose extending benefits for the unemployed yet supported proposed tax cuts for wealthier Americans, a White House aide said.

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., said Sunday Republicans support extending jobless benefits but maintain the costs must be offset with spending cuts elsewhere.

During the weekend talk show circuit, Pence sidestepped a question about why Republicans don't demand the same offsets to finance a proposed extension of tax cuts for families making more than $250,000, McClatchy said.

In the afternoon Obama will speak with astronaut and former U.S. Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, Politico said. They will discuss Obama's plans for an "ambitious and achievable" space program.

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