By Jay Heflin - 06/30/10 08:34 PM EDT
The statement indicates that Voinovich would support the measure if Reid met him halfway and paid for half the bill.
Reid has indicated that he wants to vote Thursday on a fourth iteration of extending unemployment benefits that, like the others, will not be offset. He has also stated that he adamantly opposes using stimulus funds to pay to extend the program.
"These are monies that are creating jobs," he said Wednesday. "We are doing something that is very American — very American — that is helping people in an emergency."
Reid contends he has two Republicans — Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins — ready to support the fourth bill. But he is still one vote shy of getting the 60 votes he needs to pass the bill due to the death of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) on Monday and persistent opposition by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) to not back an extension that adds to the deficit.
Voinovich's refusal to support an unpaid extension is a signal that, come Thursday, Reid will not have the votes he needs to pass the bill.
The Ohio senator and other Republicans would likely support Reid's extension if he paid for the bill, which is expected to cost approximately $33 billion.
—Silla Brush contributed to this article.