Obama Signs $18 Billion Jobless Benefits Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) - Hundreds of thousands of people who lost out on additional weeks of unemployment can reapply for long-term benefits that will run until June 2.

President Barack Obama signed an $18 billion bill that restores unemployment benefits for people who have been out of work for months. He took the action within hours after both houses of Congress passed the measure, and shortly after returning to Washington from a day trip to Florida.

Obama released a statement thanking Congress for passing the temporary extension, and calling it critical to help struggling families make ends meet.

The bill, which sailed through the Senate and House Thursday, also restores full Medicare payments to doctors who were threatened by a 21 percent cut. It also refloats the flood insurance program.

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