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Senators reach deal to extend long-term jobless benefits

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A group of 10 U.S. senators have reached a deal to extend federal benefits to the chronically unemployed for five months, a development one negotiator called a “bipartisan breakthrough.”

Five Republicans have signed on to the measure, effectively meaning it should clear the Democratic-led chamber.

A vote is not expected until after next week’s recess and prospects for passage in the House are uncertain.

The recession-era program that extended jobless benefits for millions of Americans expired at the end of last year.

Efforts to renew it since, even for a short period of time, have fallen short due wrangling over new spending.

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