Senate adjourns for July Fourth without passing unemployment benefits extension

The Senate adjourned Wednesday night after falling two votes short of passing an extension of unemployment benefits after a protracted battle about the nation's debt. 

The vote failed 58-38 on the two-pronged measure -- 60 were needed to end a Republican filibuster -- that included a $34 billion six-month extension of unemployment benefits.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidBill O'Reilly: Politics helped kill Kate Steinle, Zarate just pulled the trigger Tax reform is nightmare Déjà vu for Puerto Rico Ex-Obama and Reid staffers: McConnell would pretend to be busy to avoid meeting with Obama MORE (D-Nev.) had to vote 'no' to allow for another vote, so technically, Democrats were one vote shy of passing the measure that has gone through four changes and failed to pass three times in the past three weeks. 

Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.) was again the lone vote in his party against the bill. 

Reid expects the bill will get through the upper chamber once a replacement is named for Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) who died early Monday. Senators return to Washington for legislative business July 12. 

The Senate did agree to a separate bill to give homebuyers an extra three-months to close on a purchase that qualifies for a federal tax credit of up to $8,000. 

By the time Congress returns, more than 2 million people who have been out of work for six months or longer will have lost their extended benefits, up to 99 weeks in some states with high unemployment, according to the Labor Department.  

Benefits lapsed June 1. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat McConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Brent Budowsky: A plea to Alabama voters MORE (R-Ky.) argued tonight that his party has "offered ways of paying for these programs, and we’ve been eager to approve them. But we can’t support job-killing taxes and adding tens of billions to the already unsustainable national debt."

"So the only reason the unemployment extension hasn’t passed is because Democrats simply refuse to pass a bill that doesn’t add to the debt. That’s it. That’s the only difference between what they’ve offered and what we’ve offered."

Reid rejected McConnell's two-month extension, offset by leftover stimulus funds, because he said the money is designated for the tax extenders bill, which is fully paid for. 

Senate Democrats acknowledged earlier Wednesday they were one vote short of the 60 votes needed to advance the bill after picking up two Republican votes, Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids Study: ObamaCare bills backed by Collins would lower premiums Right scrambles GOP budget strategy MORE

Besides Nelson -- who opposes any measure that's not offset -- Byrd's death set Democrats back a decisive vote. 

All 50 states will lose emergency funding that provides between 34 and 53 additional weeks on top of the state-provided 26 weeks. 

Only 11 states could continue with the 13-20 week extended benefits program because triggers based on state's unemployment rate have been worked out separately of the federal program. But at least 20 other states would lose those extra benefits that would provide up to 20 weeks, according to National Employment Law Project.  

Overall statistics on unemployment benefits are off the charts -- 46 percent of 15 million unemployed Americans have been out of work for at least six months, with an average jobless for 34.4 weeks, the highest in history, according to NELP and Labor Department statistics. 

A total of 54 percent of everyone who use unemployment insurance exhaust all of their benefits.