Washington • The Senate plunged into an election-year session Monday beginning with a slow-motion struggle over legislation to renew lapsed jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. A test vote on the unemployment bill was postponed at the last minute until Tuesday morning at the behest of Republicans, who noted that more than a dozen lawmakers had been unable to return to Washington because of bad weather. Democratic supporters of the three-month extension of jobless benefits said they were close to the 60 votes needed to advance the White House-backed bill. Their chances hinged on securing backing from at least four Republicans in addition to co-sponsor Sen. Dean Heller of high-unemployment Nevada.
The Associated Press