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Unemployment benefits bill clears initial Senate hurdle

Updated: 01/07/2014 11:20 AM
Created: 01/07/2014 4:39 AM WHEC.com
By: Associated Press

Legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed has cleared an initial Senate hurdle, but the bill's fate remains in doubt.
    
The vote Tuesday was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats.
    
At the same time, Senate Republicans served notice they would attempt to change the measure so the $6.4 billion cost would not add to deficits - a step that Democrats have so far rejected.
    
As drafted, the bill would restore between 14 weeks and 47 weeks of benefits averaging $256 weekly to an estimated 1.3 million long-term jobless who were affected when the program expired December 28. Without action by Congress, thousands more each week would feel the impact as their state-funded benefits expire, generally after 26 weeks.
 



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