The U.S. House of Representatives approved another extension of unemployment benefits on Friday. But this widening of the safety net could be the last as lawmakers grow uneasy over the costs of what is looking to some like an unfunded welfare benefit.
In a 215-204 vote, House members approved extending benefits through Nov. 30, which would help nearly 350,000 long-term unemployed people nationwide from falling off the unemployment rolls by next month.
But the measure still must be approved by the Senate, which already left for a week long Memorial Day break. That means some workers' benefits will expire May 31, although they could be restored retroactively.
Friday's House extension is part of a scaled-back $112-billion package that also includes tax breaks and an annual patch to prevent pay cuts for Medicare doctors. With new taxes on investment fund managers and overseas companies to offset the spending, the final cost is $54 billion.