The top Republican in the Senate is predicting that a stopgap measure to extend help for the unemployed and keep federal highway dollars flowing will soon pass.
Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky says that he is working with Democrats to set up a vote to pass the legislation, which has been single-handedly held up by Sen. Jim Bunning, his homestate GOP colleague.
A law that provided stopgap road funding and longer and more generous unemployment benefits and health insurance subsidies for the jobless expired Monday. Without the extension, hundreds of thousands of jobless people could lose federal benefits.
Bunning has been blocking the bill because it would add $10 billion to the budget deficit.
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