PI Original Adam Doster Monday November 2nd, 2009, 10:49am

Senate To Take Second Vote On Unemployment Benefits Extension

Could this be the week that the Senate finally passes an
unemployment benefits extension? Senate Majority Harry Reid (D-NV)
thinks so.

At about 4 p.m. CST today, the Senate will take its second cloture vote on H.R. 3548,
which would provide an extra 14 weeks of ...

Could this be the week that the Senate finally passes an unemployment benefits extension? Senate Majority Harry Reid (D-NV) thinks so.

At about 4 p.m. CST today, the Senate will take its second cloture vote on H.R. 3548, which would provide an extra 14 weeks of unemployment assistance (and 20 weeks for those in states with unemployment rates above 8.5 percent) to workers who have already exhausted their benefits. Should 60 senators approve the final language, Democrats will have to wait an additional 30 hours before a final vote can be called. That means the upper chamber could approve a final version late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. Reid expects them to do so:

After weeks of delays because of a fight with Republicans over amendments, Senator Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat and majority leader, said he expects the Senate this week to approve an extra 14 weeks of unemployment aid for those who have exhausted their benefits. People out of work in states where the unemployment rate is more than 8.5 percent would get up to 20 weeks.

“We have a million people – one million people – who are eligible for this,” Mr. Reid said.

Two amendments will also be considered, including an extension of the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers that is scheduled to expire at the end of the month. We'll be updating this post later in the day with the roll call, as well as any other updates from the Senate floor.

UPDATE (4:43 PM): The Senate approved a cloture vote by an 85-2 margin tonight. Our post on that roll call is here.

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