Agreement elusive on jobless benefits bill

January 14, 2014 1:46:29 PM PST
Republicans and Democrats are stalled short of a deal to resurrect jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, leaving the fate of the legislation in doubt.

Instead, each side is blaming the other for a failure to agree.

More than 1.3 million unemployed workers have lost their federal jobless benefits since an earlier program expired on Dec. 28, an average of about $256 in weekly income.

Six Republicans voted with Democrats last week to advance the measure over an initial hurdle, but compromise talks have yet to result in an agreement.

The bill is one of several expected to come before Congress this year in which the two political parties will vie for support from victims of the longest recession since the 1930s.