Obama: My Policies Are on the Ballot

(Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama made the November elections about him during a speech Thursday, touting economic progress since he took office, laying out a list of Democratic favorites — from a minimum wage hike to an unemployment extension — and even trying to play offense on Obamacare.  

"I am not on the ballot this fall. Michelle’s pretty happy about that. But make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them," Obama said in prepared remarks at Northwestern University.  

Unemployment Extension: Still Dead

Kevin McCarthy of Boonsboro, Md., speaks about his troubles living without an unemployment insurance extension during a rally on the House steps of the Capitol on May 6. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Long-term unemployed people still wondering if Congress will act on an unemployment extension restoring benefits for millions before going home for the August recess are going to be disappointed again.  

The expired emergency unemployment compensation (EUC) program is still dead, and shows no real signs of life beyond weekly press events from Democrats and the occasional long shot proposal from a senator or two.  

Obama Backs GOP's Highway Bill, May Doom Unemployment Extension

Obama backed the highway patch sponsored by Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., in what may be the last nail in the coffin for an unemployment extension. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama is backing the House GOP's proposed Highway Trust Fund patch, even though it could postpone a long-term bill until the next Congress and may doom any remaining chance for an unemployment extension.  

"With surface transportation funding running out and hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk later this summer, the Administration supports House passage of H.R. 5021," the Office of Management and Budget said in a Statement of Administration Policy. "This legislation would provide for continuity of funding for the Highway Trust Fund during the height of the summer construction season and keep Americans at work repairing the Nation's crumbling roads, bridges, and transit systems."  

Unemployment Extension: Score One for Gridlock

A Senate-passed unemployment extension would have expired yesterday. Kevin McCarthy, of Boonsboro, Md., speaks about his troubles living without an unemployment insurance extension during a rally on the House steps of the Capitol on May 6. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It's official: Gridlock is winning the battle over an unemployment extension. It's June 1, the day after a Senate-passed unemployment benefits extension would have expired, and advocates are no closer to restoring them.  

An estimated 2.9 million unemployed workers have been cut off from the now-defunct Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. A House discharge petition started by Democrats aimed at forcing the bill on the floor stalled at 193 signatures — 25 short the 218 needed. No one has signed since March.  

Obama 'Hasn't Given Up' on Unemployment Extension

Rep. David Cicilline has posted his “Faces of the Unemployed” project on the wall outside of his office, part of the Democrats' push for a renewal of unemployment benefits. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama "hasn't given up" on an unemployment extension, Press Secretary Jay Carney said Thursday, even though a five-month bill is about to expire without action in the House.  

Asked what the unemployed should think, Carney said they don't have many friends in House Republican leadership. He said it's a "shame" that the GOP hasn't acted to extend the benefits. He also noted that Republicans supported an unemployment benefits extension under President George W. Bush when conditions were better than they are today.  

Carney: 'A Shame' Unemployment Extension Is Going Nowhere (Video)

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday it's "a shame" that House Republicans haven't passed an unemployment extension — and suggested they should act without requiring something in return.  

"It is our view that these are benefits that ought to be extended to Americans — to millions of Americans who need them," Carney said. "We do not view it as a cynical horse-trading exercise to achieve some ideological objective."  

Will Obama Call Boehner on Unemployment Extension?

Obama hasn't picked up the phone to call Boehner to negotiate an unemployment extension. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Will President Barack Obama pick up his vaunted phone and call Speaker John A. Boehner to try and cut a deal on an unemployment extension?  

Obama and his lobbying arm, Organizing for Action, have urged supporters to call members of Congress and ask them to pass an unemployment extension, but so far he doesn't appear to have taken his own advice.  

White House Stops Short of Veto Threat on Tax Extenders Bill (Video)

Obama wants the Senate's tax extenders bill to be amended so that it doesn't add to the deficit, but hasn't threatened to veto it. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House wants the Senate's $85 billion tax extenders bill amended so that it does not add to the deficit, but stopped short of issuing a veto threat Tuesday.  

“The Administration supports the extension of many of the tax provisions in the Senate bill, such as those that support America’s small businesses, help unemployed veterans find jobs, and promote clean energy production and research and development," said Bobby Whithorne, a spokesman for the White House. "The President in his budget has put forward a way to pay for these tax provisions so they don’t add to the deficit and hopes that as legislation moves forward, Congress will offset their cost by closing tax loopholes.”