Senate could vote to renew UI next week

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 ReedJohn (Jack) Raymond ReedSenate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank Army leader on waiver report: 'There's been no change in standards' 15 Dems urge FEC to adopt new rules for online political ads MORE (D-R.I.) and Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerDems look to use Moore against GOP Senate hearing shows Fed chair nominee acts the part Senate GOP votes to begin debate on tax bill 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.

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The agreement on the plan, which was reached last week, would provide five months of benefits and would be retroactive back to the Dec. 28 expiration of the emergency program, which helps the long-term unemployed.

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 Andrew BoehnerJohn Feehery: A political forest fire Trump's pick for Federal Reserve chief is right choice at right time The two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery 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 Andrew BoehnerJohn Feehery: A political forest fire Trump's pick for Federal Reserve chief is right choice at right time The two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery 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 ReidBill O'Reilly: Politics helped kill Kate Steinle, Zarate just pulled the trigger Tax reform is nightmare Déjà vu for Puerto Rico Ex-Obama and Reid staffers: McConnell would pretend to be busy to avoid meeting with Obama 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 Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids Study: ObamaCare bills backed by Collins would lower premiums Right scrambles GOP budget strategy MORE (R-Maine), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Overnight Finance: House approves motion to go to tax conference — with drama | GOP leaders to consider Dec. 30 spending bill | Justices skeptical of ban on sports betting | Mulvaney won't fire official who sued him How four GOP senators guided a tax-bill victory behind the scenes MORE (R-Ohio), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Week ahead: Trump expected to shrink two national monuments GOP on verge of opening Arctic refuge to drilling MORE (R-Alaska), Mark KirkMark KirkHigh stakes as Trump heads to Hill Five things to watch for at Trump-Senate GOP meeting Giffords, Scalise highlight party differences on guns MORE (R-Ill.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyAvalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Senate nixes provision boosting conservative college after uproar Overnight Energy: Panel advances controversial Trump nominee | Ex-coal boss Blankenship to run for Senate | Dem commissioner joins energy regulator MORE (D-Ore.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownThe Hill's 12:30 Report Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Overnight Regulation: Feds push to clarify regs on bump stocks | Interior wants Trump to shrink two more monuments | Navajo Nation sues over monument rollback | FCC won't delay net neutrality vote | Senate panel approves bill easing Dodd-Frank rules MORE (D-Ohio) and Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDemocrats turn on Al Franken Minnesota's largest newspaper calls on Franken to resign Democratic senator predicts Franken will resign Thursday 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." .