[Updated at 10:42 p.m.] President Obama on Thursday night signed into law a bill to temporarily extend unemployment benefits after it was passed by the House earlier in the evening.
The measure restores federal unemployment benefits to more than 200,000 jobless Americans who started losing them on April 5 after lawmakers let that deadline pass, CNNMoney reports.
[Updated at 7:15 p.m.] The $18 billion bill now returns to the House for a final vote, which is cheduled for later Thursday. The president is expected to sign it into law soon after.
The measure would restore federal unemployment benefits to more than 200,000 jobless Americans who started losing them on April 5 after lawmakers let that deadline pass. Checks would be retroactive to that date.
Federal unemployment benefits, which last up to 73 weeks, kick in after the state-funded 26 weeks of coverage expire. These federal benefits are divided into tiers, and the jobless must apply each time they move into a new tier.
The bill, which was approved by a 59-38 vote, would also extend several other provisions until May 31, including: The federal COBRA health insurance subsidy; the National Flood Insurance Program and the copyright license used by satellite television providers. It also prevents a 21 percent reduction in Medicare payment rates for doctors from taking place until May 31.
[Posted at 6:12 p.m.] The Senate passed a bill Thursday that would temporarily extend unemployment benefits, sending the measure back to the House after rancorous debate over how to pay for it.