In his pitch Tuesday to pressure Congress to approve the extension of federal unemployment benefits, President Obama will be introduced by Katherine Hackett of Moodus.

Hackett  wrote to Obama telling him she would be affected by the failure of Congress to extend unemployment insurance. She said the payments she receives under the benefit covers her mortgage payment and health care, leaving little to cover the rest of her expenses and forcing her to cut back on food, home heating and other necessities.

But the failure of Congress to extend federal unemployment insurance has left Hackett and 1.3 million other longtime unemployed workers without benefits since Dec. 28.

The federal benefits, which kick in after workers exhaust the initial 26 weeks of insurance provided by most states, have regularly been renewed by Congress amid economic downturns, and have been extended nearly a dozen times since 2008, according to a Congressional Research Service report.

On Thursday, the Senate cleared a procedural hurdle that will allow a final vote later this week on a bill that would extend federal benefits for three months. The bill, which is expected to pass, would also give unemployed workers like Hackett benefits retroactively.

But the GOP-dominated House has not indicated it will vote to extend benefits.

Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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