By a 272 to 152 vote marking the end of a months-long battle between Democrats and Republicans, House lawmakers passed an unemployment insurance extension for 2.5 million jobless Americans. The measure now goes to President Obama for his signature.
The vote to restore jobless aid comes after Republicans blocked numerous attempts to pass the benefit extension. Democratic Senators and two Republicans broke the filibuster Tuesday. The Senate finally passed the measure by a 59 to 39 vote Wednesday.
The bill extends unemployment benefits for people who have been out of work for more than six months. However, in an effort to end the Republican stalemate, several additional provisions that would have further helped the jobless were taken out. Those provisions include a 65 percent COBRA subsidy, a fifth tier of benefits for individuals out of work longer than 99 weeks, a $25 stimulus bonus, and funds to save teachers and other state employees from layoffs.