The White House is putting more pressure on Congress to extend longterm unemployment benefits. 

Chief White House economist Gene Sperling said a failure to extend the jobless aid will hurt the economic recovery. 

Benefits for 1.3 million Americans expired December 28th. 

While citing steady economic improvement, Sperling called longterm unemployment a crisis. 

Extending longterm jobless aid may clear the Senate but prospects are murky in the Republican-led House.

A procedural vote extending longterm unemployment benefits has been postponed in the Senate.  A number of senators are facing weather delays as they try to return to Washington, DC from around the nation.  The procedural vote would formally open debate on legislation extending jobless aid for three months.