National

Sep 23, 2009 4:35 PM by Associated Press

Senate action next on jobless pay extension

The ball is in the Senate's court now that the House easily passed a bill to extend jobless benefits in high unemployment states.

The Senate bill is similar, but not identical. Another 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits would be welcome for those jobless living in 27 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico with unemployment rates topping 8.5 percent.

The bill is an economic lifeline to more than 300-thousand people whose jobless benefits are set to expire at the end of the month.

While analysts say the economy appears to turning around, jobs tend to take longer to return. House Majority leader Steny Hoyer says it'll be a while before a lot more jobs are available.

More than a million people expect their benefits to run out by year's end.

Majority leader Harry Reid is promising quick Senate action on its version of the extension.

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