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 ReedBudowsky: Did Putin elect Trump? This Week in Cybersecurity: Dems press for information on Russian hacks A Cabinet position for Petraeus; disciplinary actions for Broadwell after affair MORE (D-R.I.) and Dean HellerDean HellerReid bids farewell to the Senate Reid defends relationship with McConnell in farewell speech Governments and businesses: Teaming up for taxpayers 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 BoehnerBoehner compares Trump to Teddy Roosevelt Boehner: 'Thank God' I wasn't in the middle of election Ryan delays committee assignments until 2017 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 BoehnerBoehner compares Trump to Teddy Roosevelt Boehner: 'Thank God' I wasn't in the middle of election Ryan delays committee assignments until 2017 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 ReidFeinstein after dinner with Clinton: She has 'accepted' her loss Clintons remember John Glenn as a 'uniquely American hero' Clinton reappears on Capitol Hill for Reid send-off 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 CollinsDems, greens gear up for fight against Trump EPA pick Medicare looms over Trump-Ryan alliance Senators crafting bill to limit deportations under Trump MORE (R-Maine), Rob PortmanRob PortmanSenators to Trump: Get tough on Russia over Ukraine John Glenn dies at 95 John Glenn hospitalized MORE (R-Ohio), Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiSpeaker’s office: No energy bill this year Passing US-Canada preclearance would improve security and economy Overnight Energy: Dakota pipeline standoff heats up MORE (R-Alaska), Mark KirkMark KirkJuan Williams: McConnell won big by blocking Obama Battle for the Senate: Top of ticket dominates The untold stories of the 2016 battle for the Senate MORE (R-Ill.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyOvernight Energy: Fight over miners' benefits risks shutdown | Flint aid crosses finish line in House Senate sends annual defense bill to Obama's desk Dem senator: Trump’s EPA pick is ‘corruption’ MORE (D-Ore.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownSenate Democrats dig in as shutdown approaches Overnight Energy: Fight over miners' benefits risks shutdown | Flint aid crosses finish line in House Overnight Finance: Senate Dems dig in as shutdown looms | Trump taps fast-food exec for Labor chief | Portland's new CEO tax MORE (D-Ohio) and Dick DurbinDick DurbinGOP eyes big gamble on ObamaCare Senate Democrats dig in as shutdown approaches Overnight Finance: Senate Dems dig in as shutdown looms | Trump taps fast-food exec for Labor chief | Portland's new CEO tax 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." .