WASHINGTON -- Key senators struck a bipartisan agreement Thursday to extend unemployment insurance for more than 2 million jobless Americans whose benefits have run out, though approval is not certain in the Republican-controlled House.
The proposal for a five-month continuation of benefits faces a likely filibuster by
But with five Republican senators joining Democrats in Thursday's agreement, passage in the Senate is expected. That would pressure House Speaker
"Restoring this much-needed economic lifeline will help job seekers, boost our economy and provide a little certainty," said Sen.
Unemployment insurance for the long-term unemployed was cut off Dec. 28, when Congress could not agree on a compromise. Since then, more than 2 million people have lost their aid. Most states offer no more than 26 weeks of assistance.
The nearly $10-billion package would be funded from several sources, including previously approved changes to private pension requirements that increase tax revenues.
The deal also blocks millionaires from receiving unemployment insurance and enhances certain job-placement assessment programs for the long-term unemployed.