A controversial jobless benefits bill narrowly cleared a key Senate hurdle on Tuesday, over the objections of Republicans who complain the $6 billion measure is not paid for.
Senators voted 60-37 to advance the bill extending long-term jobless benefits, which expired Dec. 28. Democrats needed 60 votes to move the bill forward.
But Republicans blasted Democratic leaders for pushing the bill without any plan to offset the cost elsewhere in the budget.
“This is all borrowed — every penny of it,” Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., told Fox News.
Backers of the extension still need to clear several additional votes in the Senate, before the GOP-controlled House can even consider it.