Reid expresses optimism about jobless bill deal

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Washington, D.C. (AP) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he is cautiously optimistic that a compromise is close on legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.

The Nevada Democrat made his comments at a news conference. He provided no details.

The Senate has been working on a three-month extension of a program that expired on Dec. 28, immediately cutting off benefits of roughly $256 weekly for more than one million hurt by the recession.

Deficit-conscious Republicans have said they will only agree to renew the program if the costs are paid for. In return, the White House and Senate Democrats say they want a long-term renewal and not one that expires in another three months.

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