Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he will call for a vote on extending unemployment benefits on Tuesday, when he said Gov. Joe Manchin has promised he would send a Democrat to take the place of the late Sen. Robert Byrd, who died last month.
Senate Democrats have been trying for weeks to push the bill through, but have been blocked by Republicans and Democrat Ben Nelson, of Nebraska, who want the $33 billion measure paid for.
Earlier this month, Reid came up one vote short of passing the extension after rejecting a deal by Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, to pay for half of it with unused money from the $800 billion stimulus.
Instead, Reid said he would wait until Byrd’s replacement arrived and has been pressuring Manchin to move quickly. Manchin, who wants to run for the seat while appointing a temporary placeholder, is waiting until the state legislature approves his plan to hold a special election in November.