Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidAbortion ruling roils race for the White House, Senate Dem senator urges support for House Puerto Rico bill Reid: McConnell silence on Trump 'speaks volumes' 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 ReedOvernight Defense: Biden hits Trump on national security | Dems raise pressure over refugees | Graham vows fight over spending caps Graham: Opponents of lifting military spending caps are 'a-holes' Senate unlikely to vote on military cyber measure MORE (D-R.I.) and Dean HellerDean HellerGun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA Long past time to fix evidence-sharing across borders Obama's great internet giveaway 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 BoehnerBenghazi Blues If 'bipartisanship' is now a dirty word, how about a rebranding? Cameras go dark during House Democrats' sit-in 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 BoehnerBenghazi Blues If 'bipartisanship' is now a dirty word, how about a rebranding? Cameras go dark during House Democrats' sit-in 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.