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Reid Predicts Passage Next Week of Unemployment Bill

Updated: 11:10 p.m.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) predicted Thursday that the Senate would pass a one-year extension of unemployment and other benefits measures by early next week.

Reid left the door open for filing a procedural motion to wrap up debate on the bill and announced the Senate would not vote on Friday or Monday.

“There will be no more votes today or tomorrow,” Reid said on the floor Thursday night. “We’re in the process of working on this bill. We don’t have it all worked out, but we think we can work it out, so we will finish it with a couple of votes Tuesday morning.”

“We may have to invoke cloture, but we’ll make that determination. I think we’ll probably file cloture on it today or tomorrow,” Reid added.

The Senate will also have to return to another economic measure next week. On Thursday the House passed a tweaked version of the Senate’s measure that includes sweeteners for the Congressional Black Caucus and fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dogs.

The Senate bill that was approved late last month offers tax incentives for small businesses to hire new employees. The measure, which costs $15 billion, also includes expense deductions for small businesses, extends the Highway Trust Fund and provides funding for the Build America Bonds program. The amended House version has a $17.6 billion price tag.

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