5-month unemployment benefit extension clears Senate procedural hurdle

A bill to extend federal emergency unemployment compensation for 5 months will be voted by the Senate this afternoon after clearing procedural hurdles last week. 

If approved, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2014 – or S.Amdt. 2874 – will provide emergency unemployment compensation to about 2.3 million long-term job seekers from Jan. 1st to June 1st.

“This is about helping people who are in a really difficult situation.  I am glad the Senate took bipartisan action to move forward.  Restoring emergency unemployment insurance will boost our economy and help job seekers, families, and small businesses,” said Sen. Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island), one of the chief sponsors of the bill.  “We need to get our country back to full employment — to a place where all Americans have an opportunity earn a living and build a better life for their families.  We hope the House takes this up quickly and we’ll continue to work in a bipartisan fashion to get this done.”

Federal emergency unemployment benefits expired on Dec. 28, 2013, cutting off crucial assistance to more than 1.3 million job seekers. Since then, another 1 million long-term unemployed workers have exhausted their benefits.

The Senate voted 61-38 last Wednesday to invoke cloture on S.Amdt. 2874, clearing a procedural hurdle for a final vote which Senate Majority Harry Reid (D-Nevada) indicated will take place at 5:30 p.m. today.

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