The Senate approved a five-month extension of federal unemployment benefits on Monday in a 59-38 vote that saw six Republicans break ranks and vote in favor of the legislation.
 
The bill now goes to the House, where Senior House Republicans have felt little pressure to act on jobless benefits. Although they won’t say so directly, they are likely to ignore the Senate bill.
 

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Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerIsrael should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support Lobbyists race to cash in on cannabis boom Rising star Ratcliffe faces battle to become Trump's intel chief MORE (R-Ohio) has suggested the retroactive plan would be difficult to implement, and he said its lack of job-creation measures means it has fallen short of the requirements he set in December for considering an extension of long-term unemployment insurance.
 
Senate Democrats are hoping their passage of the bill will raise the pressure on BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerIsrael should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support Lobbyists race to cash in on cannabis boom Rising star Ratcliffe faces battle to become Trump's intel chief MORE.
 
“If our bill was put up for a vote in the House, there is no question it would pass,” Sen. Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerJewish Democratic congresswoman and veteran blasts Trump's 'disloyalty' comments Schumer says Trump encouraging anti-Semites Saagar Enjeti: Biden's latest blunder; Krystal Ball: Did Schumer blow our chance to beat McConnell? MORE (D-N.Y.) said ahead of Monday’s vote. “The House needs to extend unemployment benefits to millions of Americans right now, without attaching extraneous issues that are merely an attempt to score political points.”
 
Six Republicans helped Democrats clear Senate hurdles on the legislation.
 
Sens. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerThis week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary MORE (R-Nev.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: Insurance lobby chief calls Biden, Sanders health plans 'similarly bad' | Trump officials appeal drug price disclosure ruling | Study finds 1 in 7 people ration diabetes medicine due to cost Collins downplays 2020 threat: 'Confident' reelection would go well if she runs Cook Political Report moves Susan Collins Senate race to 'toss up' MORE (R-Maine), Mark KirkMark Steven KirkAdvocates push for EpiPens on flights after college student's mid-flight allergic reaction Funding the fight against polio Ex-GOP Sen. Kirk registers to lobby MORE (R-Ill.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Energy: Green groups sue Trump over Endangered Species Act changes | Bureau of Land Management retirees fight plan to relocate agency | Wildfires in Amazon rainforest burn at record rate Bureau of Land Management retirees fight plan to relocate agency out west The Hill's Morning Report - Progressives, centrists clash in lively Democratic debate MORE (R-Alaska), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSchumer blasts 'red flag' gun legislation as 'ineffective cop out' McConnell faces pressure to bring Senate back for gun legislation Shaken Portman urges support for 'red flag' laws after Ohio shooting MORE (R-Ohio) and Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteTrump makes rare trip to Clinton state, hoping to win back New Hampshire Key endorsements: A who's who in early states Sinema, Gallagher fastest lawmakers in charity race MORE (R-N.H.) voted for the unemployment insurance (UI) extension.
 
After the vote, a spokesman for Boehner reiterated his opposition.  
 
“As the Speaker said months ago, we are willing to look at extending emergency unemployment insurance as long as it includes provisions to help create more private-sector jobs – but, last week, Senate Democratic leaders ruled out adding any jobs measures at all,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said. “The American people are still asking, ‘where are the jobs?’ and House Republicans are focused on our jobs agenda for families and small businesses.”
 
Yet there are a handful of House Republicans, mainly from the Northeast, who do want the party to act, and upon passage of the Senate measure they released a letter to their leadership calling for a vote in the House.
 
“As many Americans continue to struggle without benefits, we respectfully request that the House immediately consider this bill or a similar measure to restore unemployment benefits to struggling Americans,” wrote the lawmakers, who were led by Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.). Other signatories on the letter were Reps. Peter King (N.Y.), Jon Runyan (N.J.), Chris Smith (N.J.), Chris Gibson (N.Y.), Michael Grimm (N.Y.) and Joe Heck (Nev.).

The White House said Monday that none of the current job-creation proposals being floated by House Republican leaders had a chance of passing in the Senate. A senior administration official said that while the White House was willing to have a conversation about changes to the bill, the White House would not participate in hostage negotiations on issues like the Keystone XL pipeline or changes to ObamaCare.

The unemployment extension co-sponsored by Sens. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill What the gun safety debate says about Washington Senators ask for committee vote on 'red flag' bills after shootings MORE (D-R.I.) and Heller and would provide retroactive benefits to more than 2 million people who lost their federal unemployment benefits after the program expired on Dec. 28.
 
Senate Republicans blocked three previous attempts to extend the benefits, but this time, the legislation had five Republican co-sponsors, making passage certain.
 
The Senate measure would use several offsets to pay for the nearly $10 billion cost of the measure, 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 Corp. (PBGC).
 
The measure would prevent millionaires and billionaires from receiving the federal benefits.
 
The proposal also includes language to strengthen re-employment and eligibility assessment and re-employment services programs, which provide help to unemployed workers, when they enter their 27th week of benefits.
 
But many Republicans still opposed the bill because they weren’t able to add “job-creating” amendments such as legislation to repeal parts of ObamaCare, approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, enforce the E-verify system and stop Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
 
The emergency federal program kicks in once workers who have continued looking for a new job exhaust their state-level benefits, usually after 26 weeks.