Senate Passes Extension of Jobless Benefits
After House vote tomorrow, it goes to President Obama
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 21, 2010 6:12 PM CDT
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., left, is joined by new Sen. Carte Goodwin, D-W.Va., right, on Tuesday. Goodwin's vote put Democrats over the top.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – The Senate this evening passed a bill restoring unemployment benefits to millions of Americans who have been out of work for 6 months or more. It passed 59-39. President Obama is poised to sign the measure into law after a final House vote tomorrow. providing a welcome relief to 2.5 million people who have seen their benefits expire.

The measure had once been considered routine but got caught up in a monthslong battle between Democrats and Republicans over whether jobless benefits should be financed with additional federal debt or with cuts to other programs. Officials in some states say retroactive payments could go out to some beneficiaries as soon as next week. In other states, those who are jobless may have to wait a few weeks.
 

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