This may do more than anything else to cut the unemployment rate
Republicans in the Senate appear likely to kill legislation to provide continued unemployment checks to millions of people and provide states with billions of dollars to avert layoffs.
It would be a bitter defeat for President Obama and Capitol Hill Democrats, who have been trying to advance the measure for months as an insurance policy against a double-dip recession.
Despite another round of cuts to the measure aimed at pacifying GOP deficit concerns, the measure seems doomed to die by a filibuster in a vote expected as early as Thursday.
Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he would pull the measure from the floor if Democrats lose the vote. Democrats hope that political pressure from voters and business groups might eventually revive the measure.
The latest version of the measure contains a variety of provisions sought by lawmakers in both parties, blending jobless aid averaging about $300 a week with the renewal of dozens of tax cuts sought by business groups and a host of other legislation. It is considerably smaller than a version that passed with GOP help just three months ago. . . .