UPDATE 1-U.S. Senate advances bill to renew expired jobless benefits

Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:46pm EDT

(Explains Republican opposition, some details of the bill)

WASHINGTON, March 27 (Reuters) - A White House-backed bill to renew expired jobless benefits for 2.2 million Americans cleared a Republican procedural hurdle on Thursday in the Democratic-led Senate.

On a 65-34 vote, the bipartisan measure advanced toward anticipated Senate passage, yet it will likely die when it reaches the Republican-led House of Representatives.

House Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, has called the measure "unworkable," citing concerns by state administrators.

Boehner and other Republicans have also opposed the measure because it does not meet their demands that it include provisions to create jobs.

Democratic and Republican proponents reject the criticism and note that in the past such relief has been routinely extended with strong bipartisan support.

They also argue that renewing the benefits would help 2.2 million Americans as well as the U.S. economy by pumping more money into it. Relief to the unemployed averages $300 a week.

The measure would restore unemployment insurance for five months, retroactive to Dec. 28, when it began to expire for those who have been out of work for at least six months.

Backers say during this extension, which would end in late May, Congress could explore ways to bolster the emergency unemployment program and consider new job creation measures.

The $10 billion cost of the measure would be covered by a number of proposed savings in the federal budget, and include a ban against anyone receiving jobless benefits if their income the previous year topped $1 million. (Reporting By Thomas Ferraro; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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Comments (2)
zook wrote:
Harry Reid is just blowing smoke with this bill because he knows this has zero chance of getting it through the House. He should have made sure it was included in the Budget bill. Once the budget bill went through it killed all hope of getting the extension passed. I am 64 years old and was let go from a job I kept for 30 years. I have paid into unemployment all that time and know I get cut off when I finally need some help.

Mar 30, 2014 11:49am EDT  --  Report as abuse
yinatanc wrote:
I have a message for the all those politicians who have stood in the way of the passing of the unemployment extension bill, for the more than two million unemployed families in need : We will remember which politicians voted for and those who voted against this bill, and will hold them accountable in the 2016 elections. We are angry and we will vote you and your party out of office. Since last December we have had to suffer trying to keep a roof over our heads, and to feed our children. This “benefit”, was not a handout or charity given to us, but was earned and paid into, from our pay over many years. And although you may feel that this money Belongs to YOU, it DOSEN’T, it’s OUR money from our taxes. You career politicians have used us as your Bargaining Chips, and for Political Leverage, to further your own agenda. There’s been talk about “budgets, and fiscal responsibility”, but what about that Billion Dollar Aid Package for the Ukraine, that passed quickly through the congress the other day? You expect the American worker to go without, while you give Billions of TAX PAYER’S DOLLARS to foreign countries. Charity begins at home fellas. I think you are all a disgrace to the office you serve. You’re not “public servants” anymore, but rather just self-promoting, self- indulgent, egotistic, political losers.

Apr 02, 2014 4:28pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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