Senate Breaks GOP's Unemployment Filibuster

Moderate Republicans break ranks to move bill past key hurdle
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2010 12:12 AM CDT
Senate Breaks GOP's Unemployment Filibuster
In this March 30, 2010 photo, job seekers are reflected into a mirror while waiting in line to attend a career fair presented by National CareerFairs in San Jose, Calif. The number of newly laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits rose last week, a sign that jobs remain scarce even as the economy...   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

A GOP attempt to filibuster another extension of unemployment benefits failed last night after four moderate Republicans voted with the Democrats. The bill—a package of measures that includes extending benefits for another month for around 200,000 long-term unemployed—is expected to pass a final vote later this week, buying lawmakers time to work on a longer-term solution, Politico reports.

Massachusetts' Scott Brown was among the Republicans who broke ranks over the party's effort to block the bill because its $9 billion cost would be added to the deficit. "I have pledged to do my best to change the tone in Washington, and my vote to continue the debate rather than obstruct it serves as a step in that direction," he said. Republicans who backed the Tom Coburn-led filibuster repeated Jim Bunning's argument that the issue isn't extending benefits, but how to pay for them. (More filibuster stories.)

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