The Senate this week will make another attempt to pass an extension of federal unemployment insurance by tying the effort to a plan to restore military pension benefits.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced a Thursday vote on a bill that would provide federal jobless pay for three months. Two prior votes to pass the extension have been blocked by Republicans because of the cost.
This time, consideration of the bill will be followed as early as next week by a separate vote on legislation to restore recent cuts to the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in military pensions, a priority for many lawmakers in both parties but Republicans in particular.
Democratic lawmakers have proposed paying the $6.4 billion price tag of a short-term unemployment-insurance package by extending a program to calculate pension contributions in a manner that yields higher taxes. Democrats, in a nod to Republicans, also added a provision banning anyone who earns more than $1 million from collecting jobless benefits.
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