The vote was 59 to 38 on final passage. Three Republicans -- Olympia Snowe (Maine), Susan Collins (Maine) and George Voinovich (Ohio) -- joined every voting
The vote was 59 to 38 on final passage. Three Republicans — Olympia Snowe (Maine), Susan Collins (Maine) and George Voinovich (Ohio) — joined every voting Democrat in favor of the proposal.
The bill, which now moves to the House,***** will provide a two-month cushion for unemployed workers to access federal unemployment benefits after their 26 weeks of state benefits have expired. It does not create an additional tier of federal benefits for those at their last available level (state-dependent) of federal help.
The deadline for filing for additional benefits was April 5. The legislation passed today, which is retroactive to that date, extends the filing deadline to June 2.
The bill also extends COBRA health subsidies and delays a pay cut for Medicare doctors. The $18 billion cost was not offset by spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.
*Update: The House is expected to approve the bill tonight (Thursday) around 9 p.m.
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