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Report: Senate eyeing deal on long-term unemployment benefits

Feb. 3, 2014 at 5:08 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- A deal to restore long-term unemployment benefits may have bipartisan support, the Hill reported Monday.

The vote could happen as early as Tuesday on a measure being hammered out by lawmakers that would restore long-term benefits for three months, a source told the congressional newspaper.

The Hill said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., did not hint at a deal Monday but said in a floor speech he was "cautiously optimistic that Republicans will heed their constituents at home and help Democrats restore emergency benefits to Americans in need."

Sens. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Jack Reed, D-R.I., are working together to co-sponsor the measure.

Some 1.3 million people who have been out of work for at least six months were left without unemployment benefits when the long-term benefits program expired in December. Democrats say the long-term coverage is needed because nearly 38 percent of unemployed workers have been out of work for at least 27 weeks, the Hill reported.

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