POLITICS: PennAve

Harry Reid: Unemployment insurance extension plan 'very, very close'

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Politics,Congress,Senate,Harry Reid,Entitlements,PennAve,Economy,Jeremy Barr,Unemployment

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced Tuesday that the chamber is “very, very close” to working out a bipartisan deal that would extend unemployment benefits for five months.

The extension plan, proposed by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, would grant benefits retroactively to December, when they lapsed for about 1.6 million people, Bloomberg reports.

Collins said that she is “still working out the details,” but that the extension would be paid for. The Republican senator added that more information about the plan will be announced later Thursday.

While a previous extension measure stalled in early February due to a lack of support, Collins' plan would have the necessary GOP votes to pass, National Journal reports.

Extending unemployment insurance has long been a priority of Senate Democrats and President Obama, who has argued that the benefits both stimulate the economy and help keep food on the tables of millions of Americans.

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