Senate extends aid for jobless and home buyers

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has voted to give the jobless up to 20 weeks of additional unemployment benefits and significantly expand a tax credit program aimed at getting buyers back into the dormant housing market.

The strong Senate vote for the legislation is a recognition that the government still needs to do more to keep the economic recovery from faltering. If enacted, workers in some of the harder-hit states would be eligible for nearly two years of benefits, a record.

The bill also provides tax relief for businesses that have been losing money. It now goes back to the House, which is expected to quickly approve it and send it to President Barack Obama for his signature.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)