Extended unemployment benefits could pass the Senate in a few days following a key procedural vote on Tuesday.
President Obama is pushing for the extension.
"We are not a people who say 'You're on your own.' We're people who believe we're all in it together and we know there for the grace of God go I," Mr. Obama said.
Republicans call the proposed three month, $6 billion extension a "band-aid".
"There is no excuse to pass unemployment insurance legislation without also finding ways to create good, stable, high-paying jobs and also trying to find the money to pay for it," argued Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
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