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.