Senate delays UI vote after new GOP proposal

Senate leaders on Monday agreed to delay a key procedural vote on a bill to extend emergency unemployment aid, from Monday evening until Tuesday afternoon.

On the Senate floor, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he had received a new proposal from Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) that would extend unemployment help for three more months, not the 11 months that Reid supports.

"They've made a proposal, I have the outline of that proposal," Reid said. "However, I can't automatically agree to it, because it calls for a three-month [extension] rather than the 11 months or so that we had.

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"I need to be able to meet with other senators ... before I can determine how I would suggest — how we would proceed on this matter."

Reid noted that he supports the longer extension, as does President Obama. However, he indicated that he would discuss the Collins-Heller plan at the usual Tuesday caucus lunch with other Democrats.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he supports a delay, and also called on Democrats to allow consideration of GOP amendments to whatever is brought forward. "What I'm hoping for here is an open amendment process," he said.

Leaders of both parties had been meeting all day to find a way forward on an amendment agreement. Republicans have said Democrats must allow consideration of some GOP amendments, after Democrats indicated they would only allow some relevant amendments to be considered.

On Monday evening, the Senate had planned to vote to end debate on Reid's amendment, which would pay for the extension by extending out the sequester cuts until 2024. As a result of the procedural change, a vote on that amendment is now planned for 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.