Advocates of extending unemployment insurance called the Senate's two-month tax and spending agreement reached on Friday a "tempered" victory.
Senate leaders agreed a short-term accord, after deliberating for the past couple of days, to extend the payroll tax cut, unemployment benefits and a Medicare "doc fix" for two months, as Congress looks to leave Washington in plenty of time before Christmas.
The deal means that unemployment benefits will continue to be paid for 99 weeks through the first two months of the year — instead of dropping to 79 weeks in January, as called for under a Republican-sponsored House-passed plan.
"The unemployed can rest assured that they will have benefits through February," Judy Conti, federal advocacy coordinator with the National Employment Law Project, told The Hill.
Unemployment advocates see 'tempered' victory in Senate deal - The Hill's On The Money