Democratic leaders are pressing to restore jobless benefits for 1.3 million long-term unemployed Americans whose emergency assistance expired at the end of 2013. President Barack Obama's chief economic adviser Gene Sperling said the renewal of the extended benefits is crucial to dealing with the unemployment problem. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that for the measure to get through the Senate, it needs the backing of four more Republicans. The bill was co-sponsored by Republican Sen. Dean Heller.

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