Senate Republicans were successful today in blocking a bill to extend unemployment benefits for three months. Fifty-nine senators, including four Republicans, voted to advance the
legislation, falling one vote short of the 60 needed to break a
Republican filibuster effort. Republicans want any such extension to be offset by budget cuts elsewhere but Harry Reid would not allow any amendment to the bill.
Faulting Reid for bypassing committees to bring the unemployment bill straight to the Senate floor, Sen. Lamar Alexander, (R-Tenn.) the top Republican on the Senate, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said Reid “prevented many good ideas for helping unemployed Americans find a job from ever reaching the Senate floor.” (link)
The four Republicans who broke rank and voted with the Democrats are Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Susan Collins of Maine, Dean Heller of Nevada and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.