Unemployment and COBRA Benefits to Expire Sunday

Unemployment insurance and COBRA benefits is reported to expire Sunday for millions of voters because the Senate failed to pass a short term extensions of cash and health insurance benefits for the unemployed after a lone senator hampered the swift path due to his insistence that Congress first pay for the $10 billion package.

The failure throws light on the partisan gridlock that has held the Democratic legislative agenda and partly the Senate rules that enables one lawmaker to block legislation.

However, the Senate is expected to be able to renew them with a Tuesday vote. Also, democrats are hoped to take up a broader bill next week, the second in their “jobs agenda” that will extend the benefits, among many other provisions – including popular tax extenders – for one year.

On Friday, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, sent Bunning a letter asking him to "stand down immediately" from his stance and quoting, "Unemployment insurance is a lifeline to the long-term unemployed whose families have been hit very hard by this recession”.

The brawl lasted for hours Thursday when Durbin came up with a consensus, a move that forced Bunning to object each time to uphold his filibuster.