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Breakthrough: Senate Reaches Deal On Jobless Benefits

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AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite

The agreement was struck by Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV). It'll be sponsored by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Susan Collins (R-ME), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rob Portman (R-OH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL).

That includes five Republicans who can help Democrats get to 60 votes and break a filibuster if the 55-member caucus votes together.

Even if the bill gets through the Senate, it'll be tough sell in the Republican-led House, where GOP leaders have signaled that they don't want to revive the lapsed program.

The proposal will have a provision to end jobless benefit payments to those with adjusted gross income of $1 million or more in the previous year.

Nonpartisan economists say unemployment benefits tend to be a very effective way to stimulate a weak economy.

(Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the name of a senator who struck the deal. It is Sen. Jack Reed, not Harry Reid. We regret the error.)

About The Author

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Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.