Jobless Aid Headed for Passage in Senate The Senate moved one step closer Tuesday to passing a jobs package chock full of tax cuts and extensions of social safety net programs despite widespread conservative opposition. Clearing a procedural hurdle in a 66-34 vote, the Senate is expected to vote on final passage of the bill Wednesday. Tuesdays vote, in which eight Republicans sided with 58 Democrats, likely clears the way for a fairly easy final vote. One Democrat, Ben Nelson (D-NE), did defect to vote with the Republican minority. The $150 billion bill is a combination of popular tax cuts and incentives and aid for unemployed Americans struggling to make ends meet. The most costly portion of the bill is an extension of unemployment benefits, which will cost some $66 billion to extend from 26 weeks to 99 weeks. Another provision in the bill would provide a 65 percent subsides of health insurance premiums for the unemployed under the governments COBRA health insurance coverage. That is expected to cost $10 billion. On of the most popular provisions in the bill - with both Republicans and Democrats - is the $25 billion in tax breaks directed at small businesses and individuals. The bill would extend a tax credit for teachers that purchase their own supplies and tax credits for research and development. Jobless Aid Headed for Passage in Senate | Economy In Crisis bandaids for the artierial bleeds?