With the July 4 recess quickly approaching, Democrats in Washington are in overdrive trying to extend the filing deadline for emergency unemployment benefits. Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) introduced his new bill, which would continue emergency benefits through November 30 and make payments retroactive to cover the 1.2 million job seekers whose benefits expired this month. He says the legislation is supported by Republican Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both from Maine, leaving him just one vote shy of a filibuster-proof majority. If they can flip one more Republican, the chamber is expected to take up its cloture vote tomorrow night.
After a false start yesterday afternoon, the AP reports that the House is also hoping to take up its paired-down extension this evening. Their bill costs roughly $35 billion, or 1 percent of the $3.6 trillion federal budget. We will keep our eyes peeled and update the post with the latest congressional developments.
UPDATE (10:28 p.m.): For the third time this month, the Senate GOP blocked an extension of the filing deadline for emergency unemployment benefits. Democrats could not find one additional vote outside of Maine's two Republicans to break a filibuster and the measure was defeated 58-39. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) voted no so he could file a motion to reconsider.