U.S. President Barack Obama looks on during a lunch with five young adults at The Coupe restaurant in the Columbia Heights section of Washington, DC, January 10, 2014 . The president wanted to hear directly from young adults about their experiences signing up for quality, affordable health insurance as the ACA is now in effect. UPI/Olivier Douliery/Pool | License Photo
WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- President Obama called 2014 "a year of action" Saturday and said the year should start by extending unemployment insurance for 1.3 million Americans.
Delivering his weekly address, the president outlined his legislative goals for the year.
"We've got to keep creating jobs that offer new opportunity, and make sure those jobs offer the wages and benefits that let you rebuild some security," he said. "We've got more kids to educate, and families to get covered with health insurance, and an immigration system to fix. And we've got to make sure this recovery leaves no one behind."
Obama said figures released Friday showed U.S. businesses created 2.2 million new jobs in 2013, including 87,000 in December.
The numbers of jobless Americans are at their lowest levels since October 2008, he said, but still he called on Congress to extend for three months unemployment benefits for 1.3 million people that expired at the end of 2013. Failure to do so would hurt 14 million Americans, he said.
"Earlier this week, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate took the first steps toward making this right. But Congress needs to finish the job right away. More than one million Americans across the country will feel a little hope right away," he said.
"This will be a year of action," he added. "I'll keep doing everything I can to create new jobs and new opportunities for American families – with Congress, on my own, and with everyone willing to play their part."