Prospects Dim for Fast Renewal of Jobless Benefits

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WASHINGTON (AP Prospects are dimming for a quick extension of soon-to-expire unemployment benefits as Republican officials say they will not agree to include a renewal in any year-end budget deal.

Some congressional Democrats insisted Monday they will continue to press to make additional benefits part of the measure, but it is unclear how strongly the White House will support them.

Without legislation, benefits for 1.3 million workers unemployed for longer than 26 weeks would expire on Dec. 28, and an additional 1.9 million would experience the same fate in the first half of 2014.

The cost of extending the program is about $25 billion for one year.

Republicans have balked at renewing the program, saying unemployment has fallen steadily. They argue that weekly unemployment checks are a poor economic stimulus.