No agreement made for U.S. jobless benefits

By WEEK Reporter

February 6, 2014 Updated Feb 6, 2014 at 11:40 PM CDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Senate fell one vote short of approving a three-month extension of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.

This makes it unlikely that congress would approve the measure anytime soon, while undercutting a key aspect of President Obama's economic recovery plan.

Republicans voted five times for emergency unemployment extensions while George W Bush was president.

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin said he thinks it's wrong for the GOP to play political games with the welfare of Americans.

"This used to be such a bipartisan issue. We used to stand together, democrats and republicans. I remember under President Bush, President Reagan, we would extend benefits... It was a given, just the sort of thing that is so obvious. It's common sense. Now it's become a political battleground," said Sen. Dick Durbin, (D) Illinois.

Even if the Senate had moved forward, it would have been tough getting any extension through the Republican controlled House.

Speaker John Boehner has said he would entertain a bill, only if it was paid for, and could stimulate job growth.

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