Following a month of delays and deliberation, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on Monday, July 19 to determine the future of a federal unemployment extension package. The new aid would extend benefits to approximately 2.1 million people who have been without unemployment checks after being out of work for longer than six months.
(pic: White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs)
Supporters of the bill are looking forward to West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin’s appointment of an interim senator to fill the vacated seat belonging to the late Senator Robert Byrd. The newly appointed interim senator, who will serve until a November special election, is expected to be the final vote necessary to pass the measure, which is supported by Maine Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, plus 57 members of the Democratic caucus, with holdout Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson keeping the legislation short of the filibuster proof 60 votes.
Manchin, who stated that he prefers the special election process as a mode of filling the remaining two years of Byrd’s term, will make his appointment by 5:00 p.m. Friday.
Speaking at the White House daily briefing, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs predicted that the Senate will pass the unemployment extension. “I think this president will press and my belief is the Senate will take up [the package],” said Gibbs, “and we will pass next week an extension of unemployment insurance.”
via (AOL news)