A group of Democrats on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee has introduced a bill to extend federal unemployment insurance through 2012 and provide tax relief to employers in states with outstanding UI loans.

The legislation, introduced Thursday by House Ways and Means ranking member Sander Levin, D-Mich., and Human Resources Subcommittee ranking member Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, would prevent unemployment benefits from running out for millions of people. It comes as a deadline looms at the end of this year for the expiration of Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits. The federal programs currently provide Americans with up to 73 weeks of additional unemployment insurance, averaging $300 a week per person.

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