Extension of unemployment benefits is likely to pass

David Espo of the Associated Press says that the part of President Obama’s jobs bill that includes another extension of federal unemployment benefits is likely to pass the U.S. House while other parts will be shot down.

Congress will almost certainly approve the parts of President Barack Obama’s jobs bill that extend the payroll tax cut and long-term unemployment benefits. But his calls for new spending and a surtax on millionaires seem doomed…

Political debate aside, significant parts of the legislation seem on track to pass by year’s end, when payroll tax cuts enacted a year ago and unemployment benefits are scheduled to expire.

The proposed renewal of the payroll tax cut, at $179 billion over a decade, is the largest single item in the legislation and has drawn no significant opposition from Republicans.

A proposal to give employers a break on payroll taxes, a $69 billion provision, could pass, as well.

An extension of unemployment insurance, likely to pass, carries a price tag of $48.5 billion.

Unless the federal unemployment benefits are extended, more than 2 million Americans will lose those benefits by February.

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Ed Brayton

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