Thursday Senate Democrats have reached an agreement to extend unemployment insurance benefits to the nearly 2 million jobless U.S. workers who are in danger of running out of assistance by the end of the year.
The deal would give an additional 14 weeks of benefits to jobless workers in all states. Workers in states with an unemployment rate at 8.5 percent or above would receive six weeks on top of that.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., tried to bring the measure to a quick vote on the Senate floor, but Republicans objected, saying they needed more time to study the proposal and its costs and possibly offer amendments.
It was also reported, backers had hoped for quick passage. The vote, however, was delayed until next week after Republican Senator Jon Kyl objected.
News agencies also report, Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the chamber’s No. 2 Republican, blocked the agreed-upon plan from coming up for a vote yesterday because he said his colleagues didn’t have enough time to study it.
“I have no doubt that at the appropriate time we’ll be able to work out some kind of agreement,” said Kyl. “But our side is going to need some time to look at it.”
Lawmakers are considering other actions amid the widening job losses.