NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - After weeks of partisan debate, the Senate voted on Wednesday to lengthen unemployment benefits by up to 20 weeks and to extend the $8,000 homebuyer tax credit.
The closely watched legislation would extend jobless benefits in all states by 14 weeks. Those that live in states with unemployment greater than 8.5% would receive an additional six weeks. The proposal would be funded by extending a longstanding federal unemployment tax on employers through June 30, 2011.
The measure would apply to those whose benefits will run out by Dec. 31, which is nearly two million people, according to Senate estimates. Those whose checks have already stopped would be able to reapply for another round.
The vote was 98 to 0.
The measure now moves to the House, which passed its own benefits extension in September, giving an additional 13 weeks in high-unemployment states. The two bills must now be reconciled, though the House is expected to support the Senate's version.