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Senate Moves Ahead With Unemployment Bill

The Senate voted 87-13 Tuesday to proceed to an unemployment benefits bill that has been held up for weeks by Republicans. The bill, which would extend unemployment benefits another 14 weeks, was held up twice by GOP Senators who want to offer amendments to the plan. Democrats charged that the amendments would slow down approval of the bill, while Republicans argued that it would not take much time.The list of GOP amendments includes one by Sen. Johnny Isakson (Ga.) to extend the popular homebuyers’ tax credit. Republicans also want to debate amendments dealing with immigration and the controversial Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, among others.The Obama administration voiced its support of the measure in a statement issued late Tuesday afternoon just before the Senate vote. “Millions of Americans want employment but cannot find it, and the Administration is committed to supporting these Americans as they look for work and struggle to raise their families and pay their bills,— the Statement of Administration Policy said. “In addition to assisting struggling families, helping unemployed workers is an effective way to boost the economy and an important part of the Administration’s broader efforts to move swiftly and aggressively to jump start job creation and grow our economy.— A final vote on the unemployment measure could occur by the end of the week. The bill is expected to win broad support.

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