Jobless Aid Bill Faces Uncertain Future

Republicans who helped keep a bill to restore long-term jobless aid alive earlier this week say they won't stay on Democrats' side unless the legislation's backers find a way to pay for the $6.4 billion program. Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., were two of the six Republicans who gave Democrats enough votes to begin debate on the extension. However, both said at a news conference Wednesday they won't vote to advance the bill any further unless the extension's cost is offset. The legislation faces one more 60-vote hurdle before it could pass, meaning without the 2 votes it will likely be doomed.

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