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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Senate moves on unemployment benefits with Nelson in favor and Rubio against



The U.S. Senate cleared a vital procedural hurdle moments ago to proceed to a vote on extending unemployment benefits for three months.

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson was part of the 60 member majority, which included a handful of Republicans. Sen. Marco Rubio voted against it. He said the benefit, affecting 1.3 million people at a cost of $6.4 billion, should be offset by other budget cuts. We explained their positions in a blog yesterday.

The Republican-led House is unlikely to take up the issue unless there are the cuts wanted by Rubio and others -- including some Senate Republicans who voted today.

About 73,000 Florida residents lost unemployment benefits in late December as the safety net program expired due as Congress left for the holidays.

Officials say 3,665 additional Floridians will lose benefits each week during the first half of the year.

More here from the AP.

[Last modified: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 12:08pm]


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