NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – More than a million people could receive an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits under a bill approved by the House on Tuesday.
The bill extends benefits for those living in states with jobless rates higher than 8.5%. Some 27 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, fall into this category. The national unemployment rate hit 9.7% in August, the highest in 26 years.
The legislation now moves to the Senate. While there is support for the measure on both sides of the aisle, senators may make significant changes to it. Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., is seeking to expand the bill to give additional weeks of benefits to people in all states, not just high unemployment ones, an aide said.
Senate Republicans, meanwhile, want to look at other funding approaches, said a spokesman for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.