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Senate Proposal to Add Unemployment Insurance Benefits Improves Effectiveness of Stimulus Bill

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The economic stimulus package approved by the Senate Finance Committee contains an important improvement to the package the House passed January 29 — the addition of temporary extended unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.  The Finance bill would make 13 weeks of additional UI benefits available to all jobless Americans who have exhausted their regular state UI benefits and are continuing to search for work.  Jobless individuals in very high unemployment states who exhaust their regular benefits would be eligible for a further 13 weeks (for a total of 26 additional weeks).