Bad weather postpones benefits vote

The Associated Press

Published: January 7, 2014 06:50AM
Updated: January 6, 2014 08:55PM
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FILE -In this Dec. 19, 2013, file photo, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., left, accompanied by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Congress returns to work on Jan. 6, 2014, with election-year politics certain to shape an already limited agenda. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

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