Congress extends $34 billion jobless benefits package

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The U.S. Congress gave final approval to legislation restoring unemployment benefits that were cut off to more than 2.5 million Americans by an election- year fight over whether the cost should be added to the federal deficit.

The House voted 272-152 today to forward the $34 billion measure to President Barack Obama, who said he will quickly sign it into law. It was approved yesterday by the Senate on a 59-39 vote.

The usually routine measure became bogged down in a partisan battle, with Senate Republicans unsuccessfully demanding it be financed with savings elsewhere in the budget.

Republicans said they support the extended benefits and opposed the measure only because of its impact on the deficit.

Debating Unemployment Benefits

Full story: Congress Extends $34 Billion Jobless Benefits Package – Bloomberg