Unemployment benefits likely to clear Congress on Wednesday

Republicans responded by calling on Obama to take responsibility for his role in the nation's economy. Senate Republicans -- and one Democrat -- have held up the extension of jobless benefits for nearly two months, arguing that the focus should be on reducing the growing debt. 

"Instead of acknowledging that his economic policies haven’t lived up to his administration’s promises, this morning the President blamed everyone but his own White House for the economic morass we are in," Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Utah governor calls Bannon a 'bigot' after attacks on Romney MORE (R-Utah) said in a release today. 

"What the President isn’t telling the American people is that many of us in the Senate are fighting to make sure our children and grandchildren aren’t buried under a mountain of debt. If we are going to extend unemployment benefits then let’s do it without adding to our record debt that is the highest as a percentage of GDP since World War II."

The bill that will be considered by the Senate on Tuesday isn't paid for by cuts in spending or tax increases. Republicans have insisted on paying for the measure while Democrats have said the extensions have been routinely passed as emergency spending. Democrats also have said the benefits created economic stimulus because those receiving them spend them quickly. 

The National Employment Law Project estimated the benefits are worth about $7 billion a month to the economy. 

Democrats will get the vote they need -- the bill has been short the 60th vote since the death of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) -- when Carte Goodwin, the former chief counsel for West Virginia Gov. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump rips Dems a day ahead of key White House meeting Senate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank Wealthy outsiders threaten to shake up GOP Senate primaries MORE (D), is sworn in Tuesday afternoon.

Two Republicans -- Maine Sens. 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 and Olympia Snowe -- had agreed to support the measure before the July 4 recess but without Byrd, Democrats couldn't muster the final vote needed. 

About 43 percent of unemployed workers had been out of work for six months or more and 29 percent of unemployed workers had been jobless for more than a year, according to a report by the Joint Economic Committee.