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With 60th vote, Dems set to restore jobless relief

WASHINGTON - With a new face and a 60th vote for breaking a Republican filibuster, Senate Democrats are preparing to restore jobless checks for 2.5 million people whose benefits ran out during a congressional standoff over deficit spending. President Barack Obama says, "It's time to do what's right."

But first, Obama and his Democratic allies are pressing for maximum political advantage, blaming Republicans for an impasse that halted unemployment checks for those whose eligibility had expired.

"The same people who didn't have any problem spending hundreds of billions of dollars on tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are now saying we shouldn't offer relief to middle-class Americans," Obama said Monday in the Rose Garden.

Republicans say they do favor the benefits but insist they be paid for with spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.

Carte Goodwin of West Virginia is being sworn in Tuesday, taking the seat of Robert Byrd, who died in June.

Some 9.2 million Americans collect some form of jobless insurance.- AP

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