Kyl: Senate will pass temporary extension of unemployment benefits

The Senate will pass the stalled temporary extension of certain unemployment benefits but a yearlong extension might be a tougher sell, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said Sunday.

Republicans and Democrats had reached an agreement on the temporary extension last week but Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) objected to unanimous consent on the $10 billion measure, stalling its passage until next week even though the benefits expire Sunday.

{mosads}Kyl defended the reason behind Bunning’s objection but said that the extension would pass this week over the Kentucky senator’s opposition.

“All Senator Bunning was saying, quite correctly that it should be paid for,” Kyl said on Fox News Sunday. “It will pass though, because it’s a temporary extension.”

Bunning’s move raised the ire of Democrats, who blamed Senate Republican leaders for not doing enough to stop Bunning’s move. But any senator can single-handedly object to the motion in question and the office of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that it was wrong to blame the leadership.

McConnell’s office says unanimous consent has been reached to pass the stalled unemployment benefits and COBRA healthcare benefits in the full tax extenders bill this week.

Kyl said that Republicans likely will not go along with a more expensive, year-long extension unless the measure is funded.

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