U.S. Senate passes bill to restore long-term unemployment benefits

By WEEK Producer

U.S. Senate passes bill to restore long-term unemployment benefits

April 7, 2014 Updated Apr 7, 2014 at 6:01 PM CDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Senate has passed a bill that would restore long-term unemployment benefits for five months.

Those benefits, which cover workers who have been out of work longer than 26 weeks, expired at the end of last year.

It passed the Senate by a 59-38 vote.

If it became law, the bill would pay the lapsed benefits retroactively through May.

About 2.75 million Americans would be eligible for the benefits.

To become law, though, the bill would need approval in the House of Representatives and Speaker John Boehner hasn't agreed to bring it up for a vote.

He has criticized the Senate bill for not including more help creating private-sector jobs.

The Senate-backed extension would cost about $10 billion.