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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Washington (AFP) – U.S. senators struck a bipartisan deal to reinstate emergency benefits for two million of America’s long-term unemployed, easing a months-long congressional impasse.

A group of 10 senators thrashed out the agreement, which would extend for five more months the benefits that ran out in late 2013 amid congressional bickering over how to pay for the insurance.

President Barack Obama had pushed hard for an extension of the emergency benefits last year, but the effort fell apart, leaving 1.3 million jobless in the lurch when their standard 26 weeks of jobless aid expired.

“The president has repeatedly called on Congress to take action on a compromise solution to extend this vital lifeline for millions of hard-working Americans as they look for work and support their families,” a White House statement said.

“This is not just the right thing to do for these Americans looking for work, it’s the right thing to do for our economy.”

Lawmakers stressed that the latest compromise is fully paid for, in part through “pension-smoothing” provisions that were set to expire, and by an extension of customs user fees through 2024.

It would also include skills assessment and referral programs to help get people back into the workforce, and would bar all millionaires from collecting the unemployment insurance.

The cost of the current compromise was not immediately clear, but a proposed three-month extension that failed to pass Congress in December carried a price tag of $6.5 billion.

“We’re not at the finish line yet, but this is a bipartisan breakthrough,” Democratic Senator Jack Reed, an architect of the deal, said in a statement.

The measure will likely need to clear a 60-vote threshold in the 100-member Senate before going to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where it could face opposition from fiscal conservatives.

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  • Billie

    But what’s the stupid house going to do. Bet they vote against it.

    • Paul Bass

      The house just won’t bring it up to a vote, won’t have to even vote against it.

  • Buro Cratz

    As the webs of bureaucratic socialism grow thicker, even our brief respites to choose new overseers become insufficient to maintain the mental faculties upon which morality, liberty, and prosperity depend.

    • Paul Bass

      Hey Bureaucrat,
      Your statement has NOTHING to do with the topic!

      Besides being totally stupid. “Overseers”, What are we in Crimea with Russian guns pointed at us?
      “Mental Faculties”, likely you mean “mental facilities”, but again MY mental abilities are NOT dependent on my “overseer”.

      Please at least write coherently when you are trolling…