WASHINGTON (July 22, 2010) — The House of Representatives voted 252-172 today to restore unemployment benefits to U.S. workers who have been laid off for six months or more.
The vote came the day after the Senate approved the same measure 59-39. The $34 billion bill now goes to President Barack Obama, who has promised to sign it immediately.
Some 5 million unemployed workers were receiving extended benefits—worth on the average about $300 a week—when funding lapsed June 2. Passage of the bill to restore funding was delayed several weeks because of partisan fighting and a Republican filibuster in the Senate, and more than half of eligible workers had their funds cut off during that time, according to various news sources.
Congressional Democrats regarded the bill as emergency legislation, while Republicans argued there must be some offsetting reductions in federal spending to pay for it.