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President Obama departs Hawaii after vacation

U.S. President Barack Obama left Hawaii on Saturday night (January 4) after a two-week holiday vacation on the island of Oahu. Upon his returning to Washington Obama is expected to ratchet up his administration's push for an extension of emergency unemployment benefits on Tuesday (January 7) with an event at the White House attended by people whose benefits have expired. Obama and his advisers have been pressing Congress to extend the federal aid to help out-of-work Americans who are searching for jobs and avoid damage to the economy. The federal jobless aid has been renewed every year since 2008. Many Republicans oppose an extension of jobless benefits, arguing the program was always intended to be temporary. They have also said an extension would add to the federal deficit unless it is offset by spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.

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