A bill extending unemployment insurance covering those out of work more than 26 weeks for the next three months more or less passed the Senate today, with the body voting 60–37 to end debate. Six Republicans voted in favor of the bill, which Republican Senate whip John Cornyn objected to bringing to a vote when a number of senators couldn’t get to the Capitol because of weather-related travel problems.
House speaker John Boehner has indicated he’d be willing to take up the measure, but only if it’s paired with equivalent cuts elsewhere in the budget — the Senate version is not. A three-month will cost about $6 billion. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell floated the idea this morning of paying for the extension with a one-year delay of Obamacare’s individual mandate, which would save money in 2014 that could pay for the UI extension but likely cost money in the years following.
The Republicans voting in favor: Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Dan Coats (Ind.), Susan Collins (Maine), Dean Heller (Nev.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Rob Portman (Ohio).
UPDATE: This post originally stated that the bill would extend the unemployment-insurance program for the next year, as Democrats originally proposed. It would only do so for three months.