President Obama unveiled new proposals to reform unemployment insurance policies on Saturday, renewing a commitment he made to prop up American workers in this week's State of the Union address.
"If a hardworking American loses her job, regardless of what state she lives in, we should make sure she can get unemployment insurance and some help to retrain for her next job," the president said in a video. He proposed taking steps to "modernize" the unemployment insurance system.
Mr. Obama's plan includes more career counseling opportunities, increased wage insurance for those making less than $50,000 and expanded coverage for those who qualify for unemployment insurance.
The wage insurance would cover qualified workers to "replace half of their lost wages" -- insuring them for up to $10,000 over two years.
"It's a way to give families some stability and encourage folks to rejoin the workforce," the president said. "Because we shouldn't just be talking about unemployment; we should be talking about re-employment."
In the Republicans' video out Saturday, House Speaker Paul Ryan laid out a new agenda for the upcoming year, promising "bold, pro-growth" changes.
Ryan promised to focus on being a "proposition party" that would lay out new initiatives on national security, the economy, poverty and health care.
"If we do not like the direction the country is going in - and we do not - then we have an obligation to offer an alternative," he said.
The speaker, addressing constituents after a Republican retreat in Baltimore, also planned to roll back the president's "executive overreach" by "restoring the Constitution."
"The president's executive overreach has undermined the Constitution and damaged the people's trust," Ryan said. "What needs to be done to restore the separation of powers and protect our constitutional liberties? These are the ideas that we will be advancing."