WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday he is seeking votes for a new measure that would extend jobless benefits for three more months for people out of work the longest.
Reid, D-Nev., said he still lacks the 60 votes needed to end Republican delaying tactics against the measure. But he told reporters that he has 58 or 59 votes and hopes his chamber will debate the package next week.
Democrats are pushing the bill amid an election-year effort to portray themselves as defenders of families struggling to make ends meet during the sluggish recovery from the Great Recession.
The proposal would cost a bit over $6 billion and be paid for by giving large corporations more time to meet their pension obligations, Democratic officials said.
That would raise federal revenue over the short term because it would lower companies' pension fund contributions, which are tax deductible. It would reduce federal revenue later as corporate pension contributions increase.
The bill's details were described by Democratic officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss private talks.