Senate OKs More Jobless Benefits

But Boehner spokesman says House isn't interested

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 7, 2014 6:22 PM CDT | Updated Apr 7, 2014 6:40 PM CDT

(Newser) – After months of knocking heads, the US Senate voted today 59-38 to revive jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed—but the bill's fate in the House looks hazy at best, the AP reports. A small group of GOP senators quickly reached out to House Speaker John Boehner, urging him to restore benefits to as many as 2.7 million jobless Americans who saw assistance expire last year. But a Boehner spokesman said that would hinge on the bill adding "more private sector jobs," which Senate Democrats "ruled out" last week.

That apparently refers to a GOP proposal, nixed by Democrats, to permit construction of the Keystone oil pipeline and make several changes to ObamaCare, the AP notes. Senate Democrats did make other concessions, however, such as offsetting the bill's $9.6 billion cost with other spending cuts in the budget. If House Republicans somehow approve the bill, it will retroactively restore benefits that were stopped in December and keep them going through the end of May—but it will take weeks to get the programs working again, an advocate tells CNN.

This March 26, 2014 file photo shows House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaking during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.
This March 26, 2014 file photo shows House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaking during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File])
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, following a Senate Policy Luncheon.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, following a Senate Policy Luncheon.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
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