President Obama said Republicans have decided to "filibuster our recovery" by blocking key votes on economic issues, taking a sharper tone than usual in his weekly radio address Saturday. Obama said the bills—to extend unemployment benefits—would help the U.S. recover from the recession, because people without jobs spend that cash quickly, stimulating the economy. Democrats have been unable to pass the measure since the death of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) deprived them of a 60-vote supermajority required to end a filibuster. Republicans counter that the $34 billion measure would only add to the country's massive debt. Obama said the GOP spent years during the Bush administration racking up debt, so blocking the unemployment insurance now is disingenuous. The president also asked for Congress to vote on a bill giving credit extensions and tax breaks to small businesses. Financial reform and plugging the oil spill should give the president's party a burst of momentum. But The Daily Beast's Eric Alterman says the White House, at war with the base, still faces a drubbing this fall.
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