WASHINGTON, D.C.–By a single vote from the newly sworn-in Senator Carte Goodwin, Democrats were able to break a Republican filibuster against legislation that would insure that 2.5 million unemployed Americans receive additional benefits.

Senators voted 60-40 on Tuesday to break the stall and then okayed the new legislation Wednesday on a final vote of 59-39. The bill now goes back to the House, where leaders expect to approve and send it to the White House for President Barack Obama to sign.

The vote came minutes after Goodwin was sworn in as successor to West Virginia’s late Robert Byrd, who died in June at the age of 92.

Democrats argue that putting money in the pockets of the unemployed will boost the economy.

However, some Republicans opposed extending benefits, and argue that by doing so would encourage people to delay looking for jobs.

The new law will also provide up to 99 weeks of income support through November 30, 2010 for those who have exhausted the standard benefits.

The bill is going back to the house, because it has been altered. Democrats dropped a $25 a week bonus payment added to unemployment checks, and abandoned plans to extend subsidies that pay up to 65 percent of COBRA health insurance premiums for unemployed workers.