Senate Passes Highway Patch Boehner Plans to Reject

Wyden's transportation amendment passed. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate Tuesday approved a short-term patch to keep funds flowing to highway projects through Dec. 19, but Speaker John A. Boehner has already promised to strip the Senate provisions and send the House-passed bill right back.  

After the Senate's version of the bill passed 79 to 18 — Finance Committee ranking member Orrin Hatch, R-Utah called it a “free vote...because the House is going to send this right back, they are going to strip everything out — after they've left” for the August recess.  

Reid Doubts Unemployment Extension Will Come Up in Highway Bill Debate

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would work as quickly as possible to advance a highway funding patch, but an unemployment extension isn't likely to get a chance to hitchhike on it.  

"The highway bill has to move forward, and I'm going to do everything I can to expedite it as much as I can, quickly," the Nevada Democrat told reporters.  

Reid: Unemployment Extension Could Get Attached to Supplemental

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday he hopes senators get a chance to add an unemployment extension to the $4.3 billion emergency spending bill.  

"Well, there’s a chance," the Nevada Democrat said when asked about the odds Sen. Jack Reed would be able to attach an unemployment extension to the supplemental.  

Reed: Add Unemployment Extension to Emergency Spending Bill

Reed hopes to add an unemployment extension to the emergency supplemental spending bill. (File photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress should add an unemployment extension to President Barack Obama's $4.3 billion proposed emergency spending bill, Sen. Jack Reed said Wednesday.  

“There is an emergency supplemental coming down the pike that seeks to deal with immediate threats like wildfires and the humanitarian situation on our border,” Reed said in a statement. “Helping Americans who’ve been hit hardest by the recession is an urgent priority and restoring UI should be part of that conversation and part of that supplemental package. I am going to work with my colleagues to try to find a way to get this done and get people the help they need.” But attaching an unemployment extension to the package will be an uphill battle given Republican opposition in the House. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has also said that he doesn’t believe the package should be expanded.  

Harkin Didn't Want Unemployment Extension to 'Screw Up' Job Training Bill

Harkin said he didn't want anything — including a fight over an unemployment extension — screwing up his job training bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Tom Harkin says an unemployment extension was kept off a job training bill intentionally.  

"We have a good bill and we are not going to allow it to be tampered with," said Harkin, an Iowa Democrat who chairs the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and is shepherding the bipartisan Workforce Investment Act through the Senate.  

Boehner's Move on Unemployment Extension, Reid Says (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It's up to the House to act next on an unemployment extension, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Tuesday.  

“We need to get some movement in the House,” he said at his weekly press conference. “We’ve already passed an unemployment extension over here and the House, in their typical fashion, has done nothing.”  

Obama Push Needed for Unemployment Extension, Republican Says

Heller said Obama needs to get involved to revive an unemployment extension. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., wants President Barack Obama to get more involved with talks to revive an unemployment extension, as he continues to urge his GOP House colleagues to act.  

"The president needs to get more involved in this discussion right now," Heller said Tuesday. "I know it's important to him. ... I do believe that if the president would be more engaged on this particular topic we could get something done." The junior Nevada senator has been working with Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., on a bipartisan proposal that would renew long-term unemployment benefits after they expired in December. Nevada and Rhode Island have the two highest unemployment rates in the nation.  

Unemployment Extension Will Return to Senate Floor if New Deal Reached, Reid Says

Reid vowed to bring an unemployment extension back to the Senate floor if a deal is reached. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., pledged to have the Senate act on a new unemployment extension if bipartisan talks lead to a deal.  

Reid said he hasn't given up trying to renew emergency unemployment insurance benefits, which expired in December.  

Portman Never Pressed Boehner on Unemployment Extension

Portman hasn't pressured Boehner to vote on an unemployment extension. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rob Portman, who provided the key vote to pass an unemployment extension in the Senate, never pressed Speaker John A. Boehner to hold a vote on it in the House.  

Portman told Gannett he didn’t try to press Boehner, his fellow Ohio Republican, to put the bill on the House floor because it wouldn’t have been a productive move.