Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidMellman: Give positive a chance Koch network super-PAC launches ad buys in Wisconsin, Nevada Trump: 'I'd have to think about' Cruz for Supreme Court MORE (D-Nev.) filed cloture on a House bill that the Senate will use as a vehicle to pass an unemployment insurance extension likely by Friday.
Reid filed the motion to end debate on H.R. 3979, the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act, which the House passed earlier this month.
Since Reid filed cloture, that would set up a vote as soon as Friday but Democrats are hoping to reach an agreement to hold the vote Thursday evening.
Sens. Jack ReedJack ReedTroops question rules for ISIS medal Bill would target retaliation against military sexual assault victims Pentagon: Russian military support for Assad remains strong MORE (D-R.I.) and Dean HellerDean HellerCarter pledges probe of sex assault testimony Democrats block energy spending bill over Iran amendment Senate votes to increase wind energy funding MORE (R-Nev.) have put together a plan that would provide retroactive benefits to more than 2 million people who lost federal help after the program expired on Dec. 28.
The Senate has failed to pass two other UI extensions, but this time the legislation has five Republican cosponsors, meaning it could overcome the 60-vote threshold of a filibuster.
It would use several offsets to pay for the $10 billion cost of extending the benefits, including pension smoothing provisions from the 2012 highway bill, which were set to phase out this year, and extending customs user fees through 2024.
The Senate deal also includes an additional offset allowing single-employer pension plans to prepay their flat rate premiums to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).
The measure would also prevent millionaires and billionaires from receiving the federal benefits.
The proposal also includes language pushed by Collins to strengthen reemployment and eligibility assessment (REA) and re-employment services (RES) programs, which provide help to unemployed workers when they enter their 27th week of benefits.
Despite the likelihood of Senate passage, Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerYoung beats Stutzman in Indiana Senate GOP primary Boehner returns to the spotlight Cruz confronts Trump supporter MORE (R-Ohio) has said he won’t consider the Senate deal because it doesn’t include job-creating measures. But Senate passage will put pressure on BoehnerJohn BoehnerYoung beats Stutzman in Indiana Senate GOP primary Boehner returns to the spotlight Cruz confronts Trump supporter MORE to do something.
The emergency federal program kicks in once workers who continue looking for a new job have exhausted benefits, usually after 26 weeks.
— Vicki Needham contributed to this article.