Republicans: Bill may lead to deficit

Last updated 10:09 08/01/2014

Relevant offers


Business responds to shark attacks What's next for Yahoo? Shane Warne defends charity over release of records Nutella rejects personalised jar for five-year-old girl named Isis Seven condoms, 21 orgasms? A German court has ruled no Thanksgiving advertising can make turkeys out of US brands If women want to reduce the gender pay gap, they have to fight for it Company director hid in wardrobe after crashing her car while drunk Intel employee paid friend to call in bomb threat so he didn’t have to go to work Big brands don't mind live Periscope stumbles to reach millennials

Legislation to renew jobless benefits for America's long-term unemployed has cleared an initial Senate hurdle, but the bill's fate remains in doubt.

The vote on Tuesday was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation.

But Republicans said they would try to change the measure so the $6.4 billion ($7.74b) cost would not add to deficits - a step that Democrats have so far rejected.

As the 2014 midterm election year begins, the White House has made it a major issue to renew the jobless benefits that lapsed last month for an estimated 1.3 million people.

President Barack Obama was expected to speak on Tuesday morning.

The three-month extension of benefits is part of a Democratic program ahead of the November election in which control of Congress is at stake.

Other issues for Democrats include raising the minimum wage, closing tax loopholes on the wealthy and corporations, and enacting other measures designed to demonstrate sympathy with those who suffered during the worst recession in decades.

As drafted, the bill would restore between 14 weeks and 47 weeks of benefits averaging US$256 weekly.

Without action by Congress, thousands more each week would feel the impact as their state-funded benefits expire, generally after 26 weeks.

Senator Jack Reed said many affected are middle-class, middle-aged people who never thought they would wind up in the situation of long-term unemployment.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content