2010 unemployment extension passed in the house. A standalone unemployment extension 2010 was approved by Representatives, but not by Senators. The vote needed to pass the extension bill in the Senate didn't pass before the body took a week long holiday. This leaves over a million Americans without benefits.
The measure needs 60 votes to pass in the Senate. There is one Democratic senator against the measure, and that's Senator Ben Nelson from Nebraska. There are two Republican Senators that are for the bill, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Massachusetts.
The late Robert Byrd likely would have voted for the extension, meaning that the Senate would only need one vote in order to pass the measure.
Many are upset at Ben Nelson for crossing the party lines, but if you look at the State he comes from, his vote may make sense - although it doesn't make anyone happy.
For instance, Nebraska has a very low unemployment rate. In addition, it is the state where Warren Buffet calls home - and HR 4213 slapped some hefty taxes on investment funds and the like. Ben Nelson likely was voting with his state in mind - and what his constituents wanted.
That's of little consolation to the millions without a lifeline. This November, the Senators who voted against the bill will be remembered by the MILLIONS who don't have to take time off work to vote.
There are many who expect the benefits bill to pass once a replacement for Senator Byrd has been named. Until then, many are left waiting.
Don't give up hope. A standalone bill passed the House, and one way or another the extension will likely be passed. Hopefully the benefits will be applied retroactively so those who went months without benefits will be vindicated.