The extension needs a majority of 60 votes in the Senate to pass. The last time the measure was brought to vote, the Senate received a vote of 58-38. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) the Senate Majority Leader, voted against the measure, but only so that it could be brought to vote later on.
If Reid voted for the measure, then only one more vote would be needed for passage. The passing of Senator Robert Byrd from West Virginia came at a terrible time, as he could have voted for the measure and helped it pass through the system.
The unemployment extension would extend the time to file for tiers 1-4. The measure up for vote doesn't make a tier 5 extension, although many Americans have exhausted their 1-4th tiers.
Republicans aren't voting for the extension because it would add to our nation's enormous deficit spending pattern. Democrats won't give in to Republican demands to use unused stimulus funds to pay for the extension.
Republicans don't like the tax increases and deficit spending currently in the bill, although two Republican senators from Maine voted for the measure.
Hopefully once the senator from West Virginia is named, the vote will pass. July 19th is the date that the unemployment extension will be voted on, and it needs to pass this time or else there will be many Americans without benefits.