Unemployment Benefits Extended as Obama Signs Extension Bill

obamaUnited States President Barack Obama signed a bill Thursday, July 22, extending unemployment benefits to six more months. The signing marked the end of a fierce, long, partisan battle in the Senate.

After two Maine senators crossed parties to end the battle in the Senate, the House voted in favor of the bill 272 to 152. The bill will immediately help around 3 million Americans who have lost their jobs.

The new bill will give up to 99 weeks of support, including the state aid. Benefits that will go to the jobless vary from state to state. Delivery of checks will also depend on a per state basis. The benefits will also be retroactive to late May, which was the time the previous extension expired.

The unemployment rate in the nation has reached 9.5%.

“Americans who are fighting to find a good job and support their families will finally get the support they need to get back on their feet during these tough economic times,” Obama said in a statement after signing the bill.