The U.S. Senate neared a deal Thursday night to extend unemployment benefits for an additional five months and make payments retroactive to late last year, a group of senators said.
More than 2 million people lost jobless benefits in late December when the existing unemployment insurance extension expired.
(Read more: Unemployed and hoping for help)
The group of senators said the deal was fully paid for through a variety of measures, including the extension of customs fees.
The co-sponsors, Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, said they were confident they had enough votes to get the bill through the Senate.
Previous attempts to extend benefits failed due to a lack of bipartisan support.
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