Senators have reached an agreement on a deal to revive expired unemployment insurance benefits to approximately 1.3 million jobless Americans, a Senate Democratic leadership aide told Business Insider. The deal ends months of wrangling among negotiators in the Senate. The Senate has failed twice this year to pass an extension in unemployment insurance, falling one Republican vote shy last month.
The aide told Business Insider the forthcoming bill would extend the benefits, which expired in late December, for five months. The benefits will be applied retroactively, meaning they would be set to expire again in late May.
The forthcoming bill will be sponsored by 10 senators — Democratic Sens. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, and Dick Durbin of Illinois; and Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mark Kirk of Illinois, and Dean Heller of Nevada.
The bill is paid for through a combination of offsets, including “pension smoothing,” which allows employers to reduce payments to employees’ pensions. It also extends customs user fees through 2024.
The emerging legislation also contains language aimed to strengthen reemployment and eligibility assessment (REA) and ReEmployment Services (RES) programs, which are designed to help job seekers get back into the workforce. It also would end unemployment insurance payments to anyone who made more than $US1 million of income the previous year.
It’s unclear whether the Senate bill will have a chance to pass the House of Representatives. Speaker John Boehner has said any bill considered by his members will have to be paid for and include a “job-creating” provision.
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