Democrats Break Filibuster on Unemployment Extension Bill

The Senate has broken a filibuster by Republicans and conservative Democrats to move forward an extension on jobless benefits for those unemployed for over six months. The Senate will vote on the bill later today.

By a 60 to 40 margin, Democrats wrangled just enough votes to push ahead the bill that will restore unemployment checks to nearly 2.5 million people that have been without work for over six months. The long-term benefits ran out seven weeks ago, as Republicans filibustered the reauthorization due to deficit concerns. But if the bill passes the Senate and the House of Representatives, as it’s expected to, then those not receiving payments over the past weeks will receive them retroactively.

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) was the only Democrat to vote with Republicans in favor of the filibuster, while two GOP Senators, Olympia Snowe (Maine) and Susan Collins (Maine), voted with the Democrats to end the hold.