Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bunning Relents on Unemployment Bill

From the Associated Press:
A Republican that had been stubbornly blocking a stopgap measure to extend help for the jobless relented on Tuesday under withering assaults from Democrats and dwindling support within his own party.

Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky had been single-handedly blocking the $10 billion measure, causing federal furloughs and threatening the unemployment benefits of hundreds of thousands of people. He was seeking to force Democrats to find ways to finance the bill so that it wouldn't add to the deficit, but his move sparked a political tempest that has subjected Republicans to withering media coverage and cost the party politically.

The bill is now slated to come to a vote Tuesday night. It passed the House last week and is likely to be signed into law as soon as possible by President Barack Obama so that 2,000 furloughed Transportation Department workers can go back to work on Wednesday.

Update: The Senate has passed the bill by a vote of 78 to 19.

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