Catholic Charities CEO urges Congress to extend jobless benefits

WASHINGTON (AP) — The president of Catholic Charities USA is urging Congress to extend jobless benefits to the long-term unemployed.

At a hearing organized by House Democrats, the Rev. Larry Snyder said Catholic Charities will continue to assist Americans looking for work, but can't come close to meeting all the needs of struggling families.

Democrats are pressing for legislation continuing a program that gives federally paid benefits to jobless people after their 26 weeks of state benefits run out. Majority Republicans in the House have not ruled out extending the benefits that are due to begin expiring on Dec. 28, but say they have no plans to pursue legislation on their own.

Snyder said, "Our Catholic tradition teaches us that society acting through the government has a special obligation to consider first the needs of the poor and the vulnerable." He said it would be tragic to cut off unemployment benefits a few days after Christmas.

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