Senate negotiators have reached a bipartisan deal on a measure to extend expired long-term unemployment insurance benefits to more than two million Americans.
The deal between a group of ten senators would extend the jobless aid for five months and allow retroactive payments to beneficiaries going back to December 28 of last year.
"We’re not at the finish line yet, but this is a bipartisan breakthrough," said lead negotiator Sen. Jack Reed, D-RI, in a statement.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said "there is a deal with enough Republican support" and indicated that the aid would be "paid for," critical to attracting sufficient GOP support for passage.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters Thursday that he intends to take up the measure after lawmakers return from a week-long recess set to begin on Friday.
The jobless aid expired at the end of last year, after lawmakers failed to forge a compromise on whether to pay for the aid and how long the extension should be.
The legislation would have to pass the Democratic-led Senate after overcoming a 60-vote threshold and then pass the GOP-controlled House before becoming law.
NBC's Kelly O'Donnell contributed to this report.
First published March 13 2014, 1:29 PM
Carrie Dann is a national political writer for NBCNews.com. She has worked for NBC and NBCNews.com since 2006. Dann writes about politics and Congress. Dann rejoined the web team after 18 months as a campaign reporter for NBC News, covering presidential and vice presidential candidates during the 2012 election. She also covered the 2007-2008 presidential campaign for NBC, including extensive reporting on the Iowa caucuses.
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Prior to her work at NBCNews.com, Dann was a staff reporter at CongressDaily, where she covered lobbying and government reform.
A Virginia native, she now lives in Washington, D.C.