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Extension of long term unemployment benefits falls short in Senate

WASHINGTON D.C. (WTVB) - Republicans in the U.S. Senate continue blocking an extension of long term unemployment benefits, impacting at least 60,000 people in Michigan. Two Senate procedural votes failed Thursday to hit 60 vote thresholds needed to move forward.  Long term jobless aid for more than a million-and-a-half Americans expired on December 28th. 

The first tally fell just short, 58-40.  The second vote on a related measure suffered a similar fate,  55-43.  Most Republicans voted against the extension bills in an ongoing dispute over adding amendments. Democrats insist on a clean extension of jobless aid with no amendments.  No Republicans spoke out in opposition to the extension before the votes.