WASHINGTON (AP) - Election-year legislation to resume long-term jobless benefits is headed to the House, where a small band of dissident Republicans wants Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) to permit a vote on resuming aid to more than 2 million victims of the Great Recession.
The outlook remains cloudy, though, for legislation that took three months to move through the Senate before it passed Monday, 59-38.
The White House-backed measure would retroactively restore benefits that were cut off in late December, and maintain them through the end of May. As many as 2.3 million jobless workers have been denied assistance since the law expired.
If renewed, the aid would total about $256 weekly, and in most cases go to men and women who have been off the job for longer than six months.
U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement:
"Today, the Senate came together to help the nation's most vulnerable by reaching a bipartisan compromise to restore emergency unemployment benefits for more than 2 million long-term unemployed Americans – including as many as 20,000 Virginians. Supporting Americans as they search for work is not only the right thing to do; it strengthens our economy and creates jobs. I applaud my colleagues for coming together on this important issue and hope this spirit of bipartisanship prevails as we continue to do all we can to help these Americans get back to work."