Published: Jul 19, 2010 7:47 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 19, 2010 4:37 PM EDT

President Obama pointed his finger squarely at Republicans Monday morning saying it was their fault two and a half million Americans have lost their unemployment benefits.

For the second time in three days... The President had tough words for the GOP -- demanding that they act now -- and restore those benefits.

Republican leaders have told the White House -- they are not against extending unemployment benefits.  But -- they won't do it -- if Congress can't pay for it.

Republicans say that the deficit is a bigger threat to the economy than
unemployment...and they add President Obama is only making a bad situation worse.

Minority Leader, Rep. John Boehner says, "After 18 months, millions more jobs lost and 9.5% unemployment rate, trillions in new debt, it's clear, I think everyone, that what the President has been pushing is not working."

The two parties have been battling over this issue since February.  But -- the end could be in sight.  Tomorrow, Democrats will pick up the one vote they need to break the Republican block on the bill in the Senate-- when the man chosen to replace the late Robert Byrd is sworn in.