House Votes to Extend Jobless Benefits

But measure faces rough road in Senate, White House
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 12, 2008 5:00 PM CDT
"The American people are waiting to see if Congress is going to help them," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.   (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)
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(Newser) – The House today approved an extra three months of jobless benefits for all unemployed Americans, knowing the plan's chances are slight in the Senate. After failing to get a veto-proof two-thirds margin by three votes yesterday, Democrats got an exact two-thirds margin with a 274-137 vote—the amount needed to overcome a threatened presidential veto.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he will try to bring up the House bill, but won't force the issue if Senate Republicans object. "We're not wasting weeks" on it, he said. Instead, Reid said, Democrats might attach the jobless benefits extension to the Iraq war spending bill, a move also opposed by the White House. (Read more House of Representatives stories.)