The Senate is expected next week to take up a measure to renew a federal unemployment benefits program.
The bipartisan legislation, led by Sens. Jack ReedJack ReedSenate seeks deal on Trump nominees Senate seeks deal on Trump nominees Senate panel easily approves waiver for Mattis MORE (D-R.I.) and Dean HellerDean HellerMnuchin weathers stormy confirmation hearing Live coverage: Senators grill Trump's Treasury pick Five things to watch for in Mnuchin hearing MORE (R-Nev.), could get a vote after the Senate wraps up work on a Ukraine assistance measure, a source told The Hill on Wednesday.
Reed and Heller have said they are confident the bill can pick up the votes needed to break a filibuster and pass the Senate.
If that happens, the bill’s fate would still be up in the air in the House, where Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerLast Congress far from ‘do-nothing’ Top aide: Obama worried about impeachment for Syria actions An anti-government ideologue like Mulvaney shouldn't run OMB MORE (R-Ohio) highlighted on Wednesday a letter from a trade group representing state unemployment insurance directors arguing that the bill would be impossible to implement in such a short period of time.
The protestations about the measure didn't sit well in the Senate, where is has taken more than two months to finally craft a deal that has the potential to pass the upper chamber.
In the past, BoehnerJohn BoehnerLast Congress far from ‘do-nothing’ Top aide: Obama worried about impeachment for Syria actions An anti-government ideologue like Mulvaney shouldn't run OMB MORE has said he would be open to considering an unemployment bill that was fully paid for and included reforms to the program.
"We believe the concerns that have been expressed are resolvable and we look forward to Speaker Boehner coming to the table to find solutions," said Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThe DC bubble is strangling the DNC Dems want Sessions to recuse himself from Trump-Russia probe Ryan says Trump, GOP 'in complete sync' on ObamaCare MORE (D-Nev.).
"It is hard to imagine Speaker Boehner simply walking away from the thousands of people in Ohio who lost their jobs through no fault of their own and need this lifeline to make ends meet while they continue to look for work."
Lawmakers gathered up several pay-fors to cover the nearly $10 billion cost of restarting the program, which has been in place since June 2008.
The bill is cosponsored by 10 total lawmakers coming from both parties, including Sens. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsGOP rep faces testy crowd at constituent meeting over ObamaCare DeVos vows to be advocate for 'great' public schools GOP senators introducing ObamaCare replacement Monday MORE (R-Maine), Rob PortmanRob PortmanHillary gives Bernie cool reception at Trump inaugural lunch GOP governors defend Medicaid expansion Senators introduce dueling miners bills MORE (R-Ohio), Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiWhat we learned from Rick Perry's confirmation hearing Perry regrets saying he would abolish Energy Department Trump education pick to face Warren, Sanders MORE (R-Alaska), Mark KirkMark KirkGOP senator: Don't link Planned Parenthood to ObamaCare repeal Republicans add three to Banking Committee Juan Williams: McConnell won big by blocking Obama MORE (R-Ill.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyOvernight Finance: Scoop – Trump team eyes dramatic spending cuts | Treasury pick survives stormy hearing Warren burns Mnuchin over failure to disclose assets Senate Dems want Trump to withdraw from Pacific trade deal MORE (D-Ore.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownMajor progressive group unveils first 2018 Senate endorsements Congressional leaders unite to protect consumers Mnuchin weathers stormy confirmation hearing MORE (D-Ohio) and Dick DurbinDick DurbinJustice requires higher standard than Sessions Warren burns Mnuchin over failure to disclose assets Trump Treasury pick to defend foreclosure record MORE (D-Ill.).
The emergency federal program kicks in once workers who continue looking for a new job have exhausted benefits, usually after 26 weeks.
Advocates have argued that another round of the program is warranted because the long-term unemployed comprise about 37 percent of all the jobless.
Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen noted on Wednesday during her first press conference as head of the central bank that "underemployment and long-term employment remain significant concerns." .