As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid works to bring the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010 to a floor vote, a group of senators are pressing an amendment to that would reinstate the expired premium assistance for laid off workers receiving benefits under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).  The latest period of COBRA assistance expired on May 31. 

Sponsored by Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the amendment would extend the 65% premium subsidy for COBRA benefits through November 30, 2010. The six-month extension is noteworthy because it would cost less than the 15-month extension proposed earlier. Indeed, the total cost of the bill has been a sticking point for Reid’s effort to get the 60 votes needed to move the bill to the floor for a vote.

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