Senate jobless benefits bill advances slowly

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Associated Press

Posted on April 2, 2014 at 8:01 AM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 2 at 8:05 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Legislation to renew a program of benefits for the long-term unemployed has taken another step toward likely Senate approval. That comes despite complaints from Republicans that Democrats are refusing to allow votes on possible changes.

Wednesday's vote was 61-38, one more than the 60 needed for the bill to advance in the Senate. Another test is expected later in the week, to be followed by passage.

The bill would renew benefits for the long-term unemployed, generally workers who have been off the job for more than 26 weeks. Supporters say 2.7 million workers have been affected since the program expired at the end of last year.

Senate passage would clear the way for a tough battle in the House, where majority Republicans are generally opposed to renewing the program.

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