(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Updated 7:26 p.m. | The Senate approved a bipartisan unemployment benefits extension Monday, with six Republicans joining Senate Democrats to clear the measure.
The measure passed 59 to 38 with all Democrats in attendance voting for the bill. The five Republicans who helped negotiate the measure — Susan Collins of Maine, Dean Heller of Nevada, Mark S. Kirk of Illinois, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Rob Portman of Ohio — joined the Democrats voting in favor of the bill along with Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.
Three members did not vote — Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
Final passage of the five-month extension comes after Senate Democrats and six Republicans overcame the last of three Republican filibuster attempts last week, and as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid teed up the vote with another screed against the billionaire Koch brothers.
Reid on Monday tied his war against the Kochs to the fight to restore emergency unemployment insurance benefits that have been cut off since December.
“Americans need a fair shot at getting back on their feet and finding work, but Koch groups are opposing benefits for the unemployed,” Reid said, teeing off on Charles Koch’s letter to the Wall Street Journal saying that “dignity” was under attack by the government.
“What about the dignity of a single mother from Las Vegas, Christina and her son, and see what dignity there is stuck living in her grandmother’s living room because she and her son were evicted when Christina’s benefits were cut off?” Reid fumed. Full story