Democrats' efforts to expand a financial relief plan for Americans hit a roadblock in the Senate today, the AP reports. Republicans were able to stymie the bill, which they say is too expensive. Democrats hoped to add $40 billion to the plan that passed the House last week; it's now in limbo, but there's enormous political pressure to get it moving.
"It would behoove us to reject what has been called a Christmas tree," GOP Sen. John Kyl said before the motion to curtail debate and force a vote—which failed by two. Democrats wanted to extend unemployment benefits and expand payments to low-income seniors and disabled veterans. Critics urged Democrats to follow the model of the less expensive House plan.