President Obama signed an $18 billion bill to give the long-term unemployed a 6-week benefits extension soon after it passed both houses of Congress. The bill—which also includes health subsidies for the unemployed and a restoration of full Medicaid payments to doctors—made it through the House and Senate over the objections of Republicans who complained it adds to the federal deficit, the AP reports.
"Millions of Americans who lost their jobs in this economic crisis depend on unemployment and health insurance benefits to get by as they look for work and get themselves back on their feet," Obama said. "But as I requested in my budget, I urge Congress to move quickly to extend these benefits through the end of this year." (Read more President Obama stories.)