The Senate approved the $143 billion measure on a bipartisan 60-36 vote minutes after the House approved it by a sweeping 293-132 vote. Obama is expected to sign it shortly after returning from a West Coast fundraising swing. Of the $30 billion cost of the extended unemployment benefits, half would be paid for by government auctions of parts of the nation’s broadcast airwaves.
A Republican-backed payroll tax and jobs bill with TV spectrum auction language attached won House passage last night. But many hurdles still stand in the way of it becoming law. President Obama has said he would veto the legislation as it now stands. Still, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who has championed the reallocation of TV spectrum to wireless broadband, called the House vote a “major achievement.”