Senate remains stuck over jobless aid

 

McClatchy Washington Bureau

Update on efforts to extend emergency unemployment benefits: Still stuck.

The Senate is scheduled to end debate on a motion to proceed to its bill at noon Thursday. That'll be followed by a vote to proceed, which is expected to win approval.

But nothing else is certain. Sixty votes will be needed to cut off debate on the actual bill, and that's not certain. Though supporters got 60 votes for a procedural motion earlier in the week, at least three Republicans have signaled they're not going to go along anymore unless a way is found to pay for the aid.

The current legislation extends the benefits, which expired Dec. 28, for three months, but have no offset.

A group of Republicans is offering an alternative: Pay for the benefits with an anti-fraud provision involving child tax credits. But they would also use any savings to pay for changes in cuts to military pensions included in last month's budget deal.

Democrats are unlikely to accept that. They'll have a news conference starting at noon to discuss the path ahead.

 

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