Senate Approves Jobless-Benefits Bill - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Senate Approves Jobless-Benefits Bill

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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. 

Statement by President Obama

Today the Senate acted in a bipartisan way to reinstate emergency unemployment insurance for 2.3 million Americans who depend on it as they search for work. As I've said time and again, Washington needs to put politics aside and help these hard-working, responsible Americans make ends meet and support their families as they look for a job.  Each week Congress fails to act on this crucial issue, roughly 70,000 long-term unemployed Americans lose their vital economic lifeline. I urge House Republicans to stop blocking a bipartisan compromise that would stem this tide, take up the bill without delay, and send it to my desk. Let's remove this needless drag on our economy and focus on expanding opportunity for all Americans.

Nevada Senator Harry Reid today released the following statement after the Senate passed the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension bill by a vote of 59-38.
 
"Since January, over $70 million has been drained from Nevada's economy because emergency unemployment benefits have not been extended. This is senseless; and that is why I continued to push for this legislation so that we could renew this lifeline for people who lost their job by no fault of their own.

"I thank Senators Jack Reed and Dean Heller for their work on this important bill and for their efforts to get this help to struggling American families who are trying to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head. The House of Representatives must now act quickly to pass this bill."

Senator Dean Heller released this statement:

"It has been three months since emergency unemployment benefits expired for the millions of people actively searching for work. Through no fault of their own, American job seekers have been wondering how they will cover their mortgage, pay their utilities, fill up their car with gas, and put food on the table for their families," said Senator Dean Heller.

"I am grateful for (Rhode Island) Senator (Jack) Reed's persistence on this issue, as well as the commitment of many of my Republican colleagues to make sure these important benefits are extended," Heller added. "I urge the House of Representatives to take action on our bill. Nevada's unemployment remains one of the highest in the nation, which means this extension cannot wait any longer."

Today, Representative Steven Horsford (NV-4) released the following statement after the U.S. Senate voted 59-38 to pass a bipartisan bill that extends unemployment insurance benefits for 2.8 million Americans:
 
"I commend my colleagues in the Senate, especially Senate Majority Leader Reid and Senator Dean Heller, for working in a bipartisan fashion to extend this critically important financial lifeline. The 5-month extension will allow 2.8 million Americans, including 34,100 Nevadans, who lost their jobs through no fault of their own to continue searching for work.
 
"The House must take up this commonsense extension for a vote as soon as possible. Our constituents cannot wait while Republicans play political games. Every week we wait, another 72,000 Americans and 842 Nevadans will be cut off and left wondering how they will keep a roof over their head and pay their bills. We demand Speaker Boehner give us a vote and stop standing in the way of democracy."

(The Associated Press also contributed to this report.)

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