House Vote Will Extend Jobless Benefits

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The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on Thursday in favor of extra unemployment payments.

President Obama is expected to sign the bill after Congress delivers it to the White House. The bill provides funding for 2.5 million jobless Americans whose unemployment benefits have been exhausted after six months. The measure will give them an additional 73 weeks of unemployment checks at the rate of $309 a week.

"Americans who are working day and night to get back on their feet and support their families in these tough economic times deserve more than obstruction and partisan game-playing," Obama said in a statement Wednesday night.

The Senate finally broke the Republicans' blockade of the measure on Wednesday.

Democrats chose to pay for the measure by adding $34 billion to the national debt. Republicans had been blocking that move, saying Congress needed to use budget cuts to cover the bill. Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska was the only Democrat to break with his party to oppose the bill.

This year the federal deficit will exceed $1 trillion for a third straight year.

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