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National Briefing / WASHINGTON, D.C.

Extension of jobless benefits fails

June 12, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

The House narrowly defeated a Democratic attempt to give unemployed Americans an extra three months of jobless benefits after the White House threatened to veto the bill. But Democratic leaders said they would vote again today.

The bill would extend the average $300-a-week benefit check by 13 weeks for all unemployed Americans. Job seekers in high unemployment states like Alaska, California, Michigan and Rhode Island could get 26 weeks altogether.

House Democratic leaders brought up the bill under a procedure that required a two-thirds vote for approval. The vote was 279 to 144, three votes shy of the two-thirds margin -- the same needed to overcome a veto. Today's vote will require only a majority for passage.

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