Deal Coming Together Over Jobless Benefits

Amid Senate argument, a compromise to extend unemployment benefits for one year is in the works

Job seekers line up to enter a job fair at the Alameda County Office of Education on April 24, 2013 in Hayward, California. Over 100 job seekers attended the annual education job fair hosted by the Alameda County Office of Education where 200 jobs were available ranging from teachers to IT professionals.
National Journal
Michael Catalini
Jan. 9, 2014, 8:57 a.m.

Sen­at­ors are close to a deal that would ex­tend un­em­ploy­ment in­sur­ance for a year, paid for by a mix of off­sets, in­clud­ing ex­ten­sion of se­quest­ra­tion for an­oth­er 12 months, ac­cord­ing to a seni­or Demo­crat­ic Sen­ate aide.

The deal, said to be brokered by Sens. Jack Reed, a Rhode Is­land Demo­crat, and Dean Heller, a Nevada Re­pub­lic­an, would also re­duce the num­ber of weeks of eli­gib­il­ity for some un­em­ployed Amer­ic­ans and tight­en re­quire­ments for people who re­ceive both dis­ab­il­ity and un­em­ploy­ment be­ne­fits, the aide said.

Word of a pos­sible agree­ment comes amid an in­terne­cine Sen­ate ar­gu­ment over wheth­er Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id would per­mit amend­ments to a bill to ex­tend be­ne­fits for three months.

Re­id hin­ted at the pos­sib­il­ity of deal on Thursday, say­ing that Reed and Heller “feel that they might have a way to get this fin­ished.”

He also pre­dicted that most Re­pub­lic­ans wouldn’t like the deal and that there would likely be pro­ced­ur­al hurdles to clear be­fore a fi­nal vote.

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