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Senate Jobs Bill Skips Unemployment Benefits Extension

January 26, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

UPDATE: According to reports, the jobs bill now is expected to include an extension of expiring unemployment insurance benefits and COBRA benefits.

Unemployment insurance benefits, which have been a perennial hot issue with OpenCongress users, will not be extended under the jobs bill that Senate Democrats are writing.

The House passed a jobs bill in December (H.R. 2847) that included a six-month UI benefit and COBRA health care subsidy extension among other things.

The companion bill that the Senate is working will be significantly pared down, according to a report from the Washington Post on a draft version that is being circulated on the Hill today. While the House bill would cost $155 billion, the Senate bill is expected to cost about $80 billion and be entirely funded by unused financial bailout money. According to the reports, two will be heavy on tax incentives for small businesses that hire new employees, money for infrastructure and energy efficiency projects, and funds to help state governments keep public employees like police and firefighters on the payroll.

The Post reports that am unemployment benefits extension like the one the House included in their jobs bill “may move in the chamber separately.”

For more information on unemployment benefits extension, see our WIki article, Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and the Benefit Wiki Project, which lists detailed UI information state-by-state. Also see the active community at the 2009 unemployment extension bill page.

(via Washington Independent)

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