Senate Passes Measure Restoring Long-Term Unemployment Benefits

WASHINGTON -- A measure restoring jobless benefits averaging $335 a month to people struggling to find work after months of unemployment is back on track in the Senate.

Just a single Republican, George Voinovich of Ohio, helped Democrats muster the 60th vote needed Wednesday night to defeat a GOP challenge to the bill and its $18 billion price tag. A re-vote was needed after Democrats lost an early round when one member was out of town at a funeral.

The measure appears likely to pass on Thursday. Several hundred thousand jobless people have been unable to reapply for benefits since the Senate impasse caused the program to lapse last week.

Twenty-one Senate Republicans voted for nearly identical legislation last month, but now almost all of them are opposed because of deficit concerns.