U.S. Senator talks unemployment benefits during stop in Peoria

By WEEK Producer

March 20, 2014 Updated Mar 20, 2014 at 9:32 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Unemployment benefits was one of many topics Senator Dick Durbin touched on during a stop in Peoria on Thursday.

In December, extended unemployment benefits expired for 1.3 million Americans. A bill to extend benefits to those people currently sits in the U.S. Senate.

Senator Durbin said he expects the bill to pass next week.

It then would go to the U.S. House, where Tea Party members strongly oppose the bill.

Senator Durbin had strong words about them on Thursday.

"They are a mess," he said. "An unholy mess, created by these tea party republicans who don't want a government. They just want to put it out of business and turn out the lights."

House Speaker John Boehner is also against the bill. He said the proposal is riddled with "serious problems."