Senate Republicans are blocking legislation extending longterm unemployment benefits.
Two Senate procedural votes failed to hit 60 vote thresholds needed to move forward. Longterm jobless aid for more than a million-and-a-half Americans expired on December 28th.
The first tally fell short, 58-40. The second vote on a related measure suffered a similar fate, 55-43. Most Republicans voted against the extension bills in an ongoing dispute over adding amendments.
Democrats insist on a clean extension of jobless aid with no amendments. No Republicans spoke out in opposition to the extension before the votes.