Senate battling over extending unemployment benefits, COBRA

Senate Democrats and Republicans battling over passing a $9.1 billion bill (H.R. 4851) that would extend unemployment benefits and the subsidy for COBRA insurance benefits before the chamber leaves for spring recess.

Earlier Thursday afternoon, Republicans offered a paid-for version of the measure that would've spent $10 billion in unused stimulus funds. The motion to begin debate on that measure was killed, 59-40. 

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is holding up the bill, saying he's had enough of deficit spending. 

The bill also would pay federal employees who were furloughed earlier in the month because of a lapse in spending authority for the Highway Trust Fund.