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 one place that Washington should start – a place where 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 of their constituents who are unemployed through no fault of their own, that decision will leave them with no income at all.
We make this promise to one another because it makes a difference to a mother who needs help feeding her kids while she’s looking 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. We don’t abandon our fellow Americans when times get tough – we keep the faith with them until they start that new job.