Saturday, January 4
(Washington, DC) -- The White House is keeping pressure on Congress to extend longterm unemployment benefits. Jobless aid for roughly one-point-three million Americans expired Saturday. Chief White House economist Gene Sperling told CNBC that the expiration of the longterm assistance will hurt the national economy. Despite steady progress in the economic recovery, Sperling said longterm unemployment is a "more serious problem now than it's been in decades and decades." The Senate will take a vote Monday on extending the benefits retroactively. No similar action is currently scheduled in the House when lawmakers return from their holiday recess.