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Cloture Motion on Jobs Bill Fails, 57-41

This evening, 57 senators said they supported the jobs bill, also known as the extenders package or H.R. 4213, which would extend unemployment benefits and Medicaid payments to states, among other provisions. Just 41 said they did not. But in the strange logic of Congress, that is enough to prevent the motion from moving forward for now. The cloture vote has failed, likely meaning the dissolution of the jobs bill and the separate passage of its most important provisions.

Here’s Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) flash response:

“This is one of the worst moments I’ve seen in 25 years in the United States Senate,” said Sen. Kerry. “In times of economic trouble, our country expects Democrats and Republicans to pull together and do the basics. Now, after eight weeks of debate and after every effort to make changes and find common ground, the Minority Leader has again found a way to unify his caucus to block legislation that extends unemployment benefits, creates jobs and provides hundreds of millions of dollars in desperately needed assistance for states. This is a terrible blow to Massachusetts. Even cutting our original proposal nearly in half wasn’t enough to secure even one Republican vote today. This can cost our state half a billion dollars in Medicaid funding, jeopardize our seniors’ access to Medicare benefits, and strip unemployment benefits from almost a hundred thousand laid-off workers in Massachusetts. The Senate has to do better than this. People are counting on better because for them this isn’t political brinksmanship, it’s their ability to keep their heads above water.”

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