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The Senate Finally Votes — Why Now?
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The Senate Finally Votes

CNN reports: Senate passes $10 billion jobless benefits measure

Washington (CNN) — The Senate voted Tuesday to pass a $10 billion measure to extend benefits for unemployed workers and fund road projects after Sen. Jim Bunning agreed to end his filibuster.

The 78-19 vote on the 30-day extension known as H.R. 4691 came minutes after the Kentucky Republican made a final plea on the floor of the Senate for his colleagues not to borrow the money.

Bunning blamed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for Bunning’s almost weeklong block of a vote on the 30-day extensions and said his amendment would remove “black liquor” — a byproduct of the pulp and paper process — from eligibility for a bio-fuels producer tax credit, saving $24 billion.

But Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said that very action is already part of a bill that will came up for a vote Wednesday — the long-term extension of those jobless benefits.

“The senator from Kentucky, after one week, has decided to accept exactly what was offered to him last week,” Durbin said. “The senator from Kentucky said ‘No, I may lose. I am not going to offer an amendment, I am just going to object.’ “

The final vote was 78-18, but Bunning got to grand stand for a week.

Understand that this was a temporary measure to give Congress time to pass the real bill which is already in the works. The real bill can address funding issues, this was essentially a continuing resolution to buy Congress some time to do their job, because the Republicans have been stalling just about everything that comes up in the Senate.

BTW, I would expect the Alabama Senators to vote against Bunning’s amendment, given the number of pulp mills in the state.