Senate approves jobless benefits for long-term unemployed

Job seekers line up to meet prospective employers during a career fair at a hotel in Dallas,  Jan. 22, 2014. The government issues the January jobs report on Friday, Feb. 7. 2014. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Job seekers line up to meet prospective employers during a career fair at a hotel in Dallas, Jan. 22, 2014. The government issues the January jobs report on Friday, Feb. 7. 2014. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate has passed legislation to renew a program of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed that expired last December.

But the 59-38 vote sends the bill to a frosty reception in the House, where majority Republicans are generally opposed.

The White House-backed bill would retroactively restore benefits that were cut off in late December, and maintain them through the May.

Officials say as many as 2.7 million jobless workers have been affected since the law expired late last year.

If renewed, aid would total about $256 weekly, mostly going to men and women who have been off the job for longer than six months.

Passage came as a handful of House Republicans urged Speaker John Boehner to allow a vote on the Senate bill or one like it.

 

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