The Senate approved legislation Monday to restore jobless benefits to the long-term unemployed, sending the bill to the House where Republicans have voiced strong opposition to it.
The legislation, which passed by a 59-38 vote, would renew federal long-term unemployment benefits for five months, retroactive to when they expired on December 28. Nearly three million Americans have been gone without assistance since the law expired.
House Speaker John Boehner has called the White House-backed bill "unworkable" and criticized the legislation for failing to include job-creation measures.
“We are willing to look at extending emergency unemployment insurance as long as it includes provisions to help create more private-sector jobs,” a Boehner spokesman said Monday.
Democrats have sought to make GOP opposition to the extension an election issue in 2014 midterms, arguing it shows Republican insensitivity to Americans struggling in a still recovering economy.