Senators strike bipartisan jobless benefits deal
WASHINGTON, D.C. - One partisan election-year battle that senators seem likely to resolve when they return from recess later this month is the fight over renewing expired benefits for the long-term unemployed.
Bipartisan Senate negotiators say they've struck a $9.7 billion compromise over the issue. They say they've agreed to a five-month extension of the emergency benefits, paid for by boosting some federal revenues.
The revived coverage would be retroactive to Dec. 28, when the program expired. That lapse ultimately denied emergency coverage to more than 2 million people without jobs the longest.
Approval of the measure seemed likely by the Democratic-led Senate when it returns in late March from a weeklong recess. That would throw the issue into the Republican-run House, where its fate is uncertain.
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