National Government

Obama: Senate jobless vote an 'important step'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is applauding a Senate vote advancing legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed as an important step.

The Senate voted 60-37 Tuesday to clear the bill's first hurdle. But Republicans who voted to move ahead still want concessions that will have to be worked out before final passage. The Republican-controlled House would also have to vote for it.

The White House has insisted that the $6.4 billion cost of the three-month measure doesn't need to have accompanying cuts in other programs.

Obama rejects argument that benefits take away motivation to work. He says, quote, "That really sells the American people short." He says jobless Americans are "working their tails off" to find work.

He spoke at White House accompanied by a group of unemployed workers.

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