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Reid: UI deal hinges on luncheon

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday morning that Democrats will discuss the latest GOP offer to extend unemployment benefits at their weekly caucus lunch today, and said that discussion should make it clear whether there is any way to move forward on that proposal.

"We have had some … good discussions, and I'm going to, as I know the Republican leader will, discuss if there's a way to move forward on unemployment insurance," Reid said on the floor. "I hope there is."

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"At 2:30 p.m. today, after our caucuses, we'll come out and see if there's some … consent agreement that we can present to the Senate and move forward with the legislation."

Democrats have pushed for an 11-month extension of emergency unemployment benefits, paid for by cuts in 2024. On Monday, Republicans said the cuts must happen in the normal 10-year budget window, and offered a plan to prevent illegal residents from claiming a child tax credit to pay for the extension.

The GOP demands for a current "pay-for" have slowed the Senate's progress on a bill, and have made it unclear whether the two sides can find a middle ground at all. Six Republicans voted with Democrats last week to advance the bill, but many of those Republicans have insisted on a current pay-for.

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