Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) late Thursday afternoon called a rare live quorum in the Senate chamber in an effort to break an impasse over a one-month extension to unemployment insurance benefits.
Reid called the live quorum call during which the Sergeant-at-Arms is authorized to request that Members come to the chamber following more than an hour of unsuccessful negotiations on the Senate floor with Republicans and Democrats.
Reid spokesman Jim Manley said the quorum call is an attempt to bring all the Members of the Senate together to try and figure out how to proceed on unemployment insurance, adding that the question is whether were going to work through the weekend or if we can work something out Thursday night.
Once all of the Members are on the floor, Reid will start a colloquy and see where things go, Manley said.
Earlier in the day, Reid beat back an effort by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) to force a vote on a fully paid-for version of the unemployment insurance extension. While the current bill is not fully offset, Republicans and some Democrats believe it should include at least some level of funding.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.