Unemployment Benefit Extension Bill Discussion Continues In Cong - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Unemployment Benefit Extension Bill Discussion Continues In Congress

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The three month extension of long term unemployment benefits cleared an initial hurdle in the Senate Tuesday.  

Monday, the vote was delayed because several Senators were not able to return to Washington from holiday break because of weather related flight delays.  

Tuesday, 60 Senators voted to go ahead with the extension which means the bill can now advance to the House.  

Democrats are hoping to pass a $6.4 billion aid plan to out-of-work Americans whose jobless benefits expired last month.

Republicans say they are not against renewing the benefits, but they want the bill to include spending cuts to pay the $6.4 billion tab.

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid says, "they're trying to make ends meet from month to month. Today, there's only one job opening for every three people searching. We have never had so many unemployed for such a long period of time."

President Obama urged Congress to support the three month extension in a speech today at the White House.

 Hundreds of Americans whose unemployment checks have stopped arriving plan to attend the event.