Obama signs long-sought extension of jobless aid

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— President Barack Obama has signed an extension of unemployment benefits for millions of long-term unemployed people, capping a hard-fought political fight with Republicans.

The president acted swiftly to turn the legislation into law after the House approved it Thursday; the Senate approved it Wednesday in a near party-line vote.

The measure restores unemployment benefits to people who have been out of work for six months or more. That ends a a seven-week interruption that caused 2.5 million people to lose unemployment help averaging $300 a week.

Most Republicans opposed the measure because it would add $34 billion in debt. They said it should be paid for with unused money from last year's stimulus bill or offset by spending cuts.

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