(Bloomberg) — The U.S. Senate today voted 60-37 to limit debate on S. 1845, a bill that would extend unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless.
A program that provides extra unemployment benefits expired Dec. 31.
S. 1845 backers needed 60 votes to pass a motion for cloture and arrange for the bill to move to the Senate floor.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, tried to use debate on the cloture motion to push for a one-year delay of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) penalty on individuals who fail to own a minimum level of health coverage.
McConnell said his party would support additional jobless benefits “if we could find a way to extend them without actually adding to the national debt.”