Los Angeles Times Staff Writer,
The House of Representatives approved extended jobless benefits for 2.5 million unemployed Americans, ending a long partisan battle. President Obama is expected to sign the bill, which the Senate approved after overcoming a Republican filibuster. The House vote was 272-152.
The measure would extend unemployment insurance through November for out-of-work Americans who have not yet exhausted up to 99 weeks of aid. Benefits would be retroactive to late May, when the previous extension expired. Jobless benefits vary from state to state but typically expire after 26 weeks.
Most Republicans contended that the $33.9-billion measure should be paid for with spending cuts rather than tacked onto the national debt. Democrats said the 9.5% national jobless rate is an emergency and thus exempt from budget-offset requirements.