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Senate supporters of long-term jobless benefits offer different approach

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WASHINGTON - Senate supporters of legislation to renew long-term jobless benefits are backing a new approach in hopes of pressuring the House to reinstate the program after a lapse of six months.

Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada say their new legislation does not seek retroactive payments for those who lost benefits at the end of last year. Instead, it allows anyone who was eligible at the time to resume receiving aid.

The expired program generally benefited workers who have been unemployed for more than six months.

The decision by Reed and Heller to unveil a new bill was unusual, since the Senate passed legislation earlier this year to renew the program and the Republican-controlled House shows no sign of acting on the issue.

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