(Unemployment Benefits article updated with new information on the Senate passing the unemployment benefits bill onto the House.)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The Senate has passed a bill that would extend unemployment benefits to the 2.5 million Americans who have been jobless for six months.

The bill needed at least 60 votes to pass through the Senate. Maine Republican Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins voted in favor of the bill. The bill passed with the final vote of West Virginia Democrat Carte Goodwin, who officially took the seat of the late Robert Byrd today.

The bill will be voted on by the House later this week, and if it is signed by President Obama, will cost $34 billion. If passed, the jobless will receive $300 a week on average, retroactive to June and lasting through November.

-- Reported by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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