US President Barack Obama on 7 January 2014
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Obama says the unemployed are not lazy

US President Barack Obama has appealed to Congress to renew payments to nearly 1.3 million long-term unemployed Americans.

On Tuesday, the Democrat-led Senate voted to limit debate on a three-month extension of jobless benefits, but the bill's fate in the Republican-led House remains unclear.

"The long-term unemployed are not lazy," Mr Obama said at the White House on Tuesday.

"They're coping with the aftermath of the worst economic crisis in generations," he added.