Unemployment Aid on Hold

Washington, D.C. – Senate Republicans hold up jobless benefits

WASHINGTON (AP) U.S. Senate Republicans are blocking speedy passage of a stopgap bill to extend jobless benefits, saying its $9 billion cost should not be added to the national debt.

The clash comes less than a month after Republicans shied away from a similar battle that led to an interruption in unemployment benefits eligibility for some people and a two-day furlough for some Transportation Department employees.

Last month, Kentucky Republican Jim Bunning blocked a similar extension of jobless benefits but ended up on the losing end of a public relations battle and backed away.

Now, it's Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn who's insisting that the measure be financed with money from last year's economic stimulus bill.