Test Votes Postponed on Unemployment Bill - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Test Votes Postponed on Unemployment Bill

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The Senate postponed a pair of test votes on stalled unemployment legislation on Monday as Republicans and Democrats sought a compromise to restore benefits to 1.3 million long-term jobless workers who lost them abruptly late last year.
 
The postponement came after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada met privately with two Republicans on the measure, the first in what looms as a series of election-year bills in which the political parties vie for support from economically strapped voters.
 
As drafted, the legislation would restore federal benefits for the unemployed who have exhausted their state-provided support, generally 26 weeks. An earlier program expired on Dec. 28, cutting off about 1.3 million victims of the recession who had been receiving an average $256 weekly. (AP)

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Following a meeting this afternoon, Senators Dean Heller (R-NV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Dan Coats (R-IN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Rob Portman (R-OH) issued a joint statement regarding the current state of negotiations surrounding an unemployment insurance benefits extension that is fully paid for:

"We continue to negotiate in good faith, and we are all encouraged that we are making progress on a package that could pass with bipartisan support.  The proposal includes (1) a three-month extension of the temporary federal long-term unemployment insurance program; (2) a repeal of the recent cuts in the military retiree cost-of-living adjustment included in December's budget agreement; and (3) offsets to pay for the unemployment extension and restoring military retiree benefits within the budget window.

"Our solution would also allow for a reasonable number of related amendments to be offered by both sides, which would be a productive breakthrough."

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