Jobless Benefits Bill Clears First Senate Hurdle - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Jobless Benefits Bill Clears First Senate Hurdle

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Long-delayed legislation to restore benefits for the long-term unemployed has cleared an initial Senate hurdle.
 
The 65-34 Thursday vote came as the White House issued a statement of support. The measure would restore benefits for five months, back to when they expired Dec. 28.
 
The program generally helps workers who have been off the job longer than 26 weeks.

Senate Democrats have been trying to renew the program for months. They were forced by Republicans to accept changes before the bill had the 60 votes needed to overcome procedural hurdles. Among them was a demand to offset the cost of nearly $10 billion and avoid raising the deficit.
 
Senate approval of the measure is possible next week, but the bill faces a chilly reception in the Republican-controlled House.    (AP)

Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) released this statement:

"Nevadans are hurting, and I hear every day how desperate so many are for some certainty from Congress on this issue. Today, the Senate overcame another hurdle and is one step closer to providing unemployed Americans some much-needed relief," said Senator Dean Heller. "I am grateful to Senator Reed for his work up to this point and am extremely pleased that more Republicans joined us in today's vote."

"There is a lot of work to be done before these benefits become a reality," Heller continued. "With Democrats and Republicans working together, it is my hope that we can find a path forward that allows Congress to pass legislation that can be signed into law. I look forward to doing what I can to help make sure Nevadans are able to use these important benefits."

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