The Senate deal funds federal jobless benefits through the end of May. It includes back payments of missed unemployment checks since December.
The measure would apply to 2.3 million long-term unemployed, including those who have run out of state unemployment benefits in the past few months, according to the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group.
If the bill passes the House, it could take weeks to get programs up and running again, said Judith Conti, federal advocacy coordinator for the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group for the unemployed in Washington. Still the group cheered the move.
"At long last we're within sight of one chamber working across party lines to provide this critical relief; there's already been too much delay, with too many families suffering unneeded hardship," said Christine Owens, NELP executive director of the National Employment Law Project in a statement.
21 years as an exec and can't find work
Unemployment insurance benefits are generally administered by the states.
However, back in June 2008, when the jobless rate started ticking up from under 5% to 5.6%, President George W. Bush signed the federal benefits program to help those whose state benefits had run out.