Senate restores $18 billion in jobless benefits

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has passed a bill to restore unemployment benefits for people who have been out of work for months.

Several hundred thousand jobless people have been unable to reapply for benefits since a Senate impasse caused the program to lapse last week. People who have missed unemployment checks will be able to receive them retroactively.

The jobless benefits measure had been hung up by conservative Republicans fighting to force Democrats to pay for its $18 billion cost rather than add to the budget deficit.

The bill would pay for federally funded unemployment insurance through June 2. Several other lapsed programs would also be extended until the end of May.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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