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Senate advances bill to renew expired unemployment benefits despite Boehner’s complaints

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A White House-backed bill to renew expired jobless benefits for 2.2 million Americans cleared a Republican procedural hurdle on Thursday in the Democratic-led Senate.

On a 65-34 vote, the bipartisan measure advanced toward anticipated Senate passage, yet it will likely die when it reaches the Republican-led House of Representatives.

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House Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, has called the measure “unworkable,” citing concerns by state administrators.

Boehner and other Republicans have also opposed the measure because it does not meet their demands that it include provisions to create jobs.

Democratic and Republican proponents reject the criticism and note that in the past such relief has been routinely extended with strong bipartisan support.

They also argue that renewing the benefits would help 2.2 million Americans as well as the U.S. economy by pumping more money into it. Relief to the unemployed averages $300 a week.

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The measure would restore unemployment insurance for five months, retroactive to December 28, when it began to expire for those who have been out of work for at least six months.

Backers say during this extension, which would end in late May, Congress could explore ways to bolster the emergency unemployment program and consider new job creation measures.

The $10 billion cost of the measure would be covered by a number of proposed savings in the federal budget, and include a ban against anyone receiving jobless benefits if their income the previous year topped $1 million.

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(Reporting By Thomas Ferraro; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

[Image via Agence France-Presse]


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Brian Williams compares Corey Lewandowski’s opening statement to the North Korean news lady

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MSNBC host Brian Williams on Tuesday noted the similarities between former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and North Korean news anchor Ri Chun Hee.

"Corey Lewandowski, the former Trump campaign manager who is now considering a Senate run in New Hampshire, testified before the House Judiciary Committee today," Williams reported. "It is likely his North Korean anchorwoman-quality opening remarks were meant were one viewer (Donald Trump)."

Ri, who has earned the nickname "Pink Lady," is known for her enthusiastic reading of government-approved news.

Watch the video below from MSNBC.

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‘Train-wreck of a witness’: Analysts nail ‘obstructive’ Corey Lewandowski for proving the Democrats’ case

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Political commentator Catherine Rampell disagreed with New York Times columnist Frank Bruni that the Democrats faltered during the hearing with Corey Lewandowski Tuesday. Former state and federal prosecutor Elie Honig called Lewandowski a "train-wreck of a witness."

She explained that Democrats had an extremely low bar: they had to prove Trump obstructed justice and that Corey Lewandowski gave one of the examples of such obstructions. In that sense, Rampell said they accomplished their goals.

"I don’t think this was a great day for Corey Lewandowski," she began. "This is a guy who went on TV and announced to the world -- apparently at the same time he is also trying to fundraise for Senate -- that he lies most of the time. Except when he's under oath."

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CNN

WATCH: Ana Navarro keeps shouting down Trump booster — even as CNN host cuts to commercial

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President Donald Trump cheered on his top Hispanic advisor Steve Cortes, who appeared before a New Mexico audience. Trump asked Cortes which he loved more, Hispanics or America, which prompted CNN's Ana Navarro to blast the president for racism. Meanwhile, Trump's latest CNN shill cried "political correctness."

"Look, I suspect he didn't want to offend Steve Cortes and I suspect Steve Cortes was not offended," Navarro said. "But really what a stupid thing to say. Right? To somehow ask the question about whether you love the country more than you love Hispanics -- they are one and the same."

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