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Senate Advances Jobless Benefits

  • Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., second from left, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle. From left are, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Schumer, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., along with Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, led the effort to reauthorize the benefits for three months which expired on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., second from left, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle. From left are, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Schumer, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., along with Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, led the effort to reauthorize the benefits for three months which expired on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., second from left, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle. From left are, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Schumer, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., along with Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, led the effort to reauthorize the benefits for three months which expired on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., second from left, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle. From left are, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Schumer, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., along with Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, led the effort to reauthorize the benefits for three months which expired on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Ky., right, accompanied by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., the Republican Policy Committee chairman, arrives to tell reporters that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., and his political tactics are almost entirely responsible for making the Senate dysfunctional, following a procedural vote on legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Ky., right, accompanied by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., the Republican Policy Committee chairman, arrives to tell reporters that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., and his political tactics are almost entirely responsible for making the Senate dysfunctional, following a procedural vote on legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Ky., right, accompanied by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., the Republican Policy Committee chairman, arrives to tell reporters that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., and his political tactics are almost entirely responsible for making the Senate dysfunctional, following a procedural vote on legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Ky., right, accompanied by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., the Republican Policy Committee chairman, arrives to tell reporters that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., and his political tactics are almost entirely responsible for making the Senate dysfunctional, following a procedural vote on legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • President Barack Obama speaks about unemployment benefits, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington. The president applauded a Senate vote advancing legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed as an important step. The Senate voted 60-37 Tuesday to clear the bill's first hurdle. But Republicans who voted to move ahead still want concessions that will have to be worked out before final passage. The Republican-controlled House would also have to vote for it. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    President Barack Obama speaks about unemployment benefits, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington. The president applauded a Senate vote advancing legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed as an important step. The Senate voted 60-37 Tuesday to clear the bill's first hurdle. But Republicans who voted to move ahead still want concessions that will have to be worked out before final passage. The Republican-controlled House would also have to vote for it. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

  • Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., center, joined by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, right, leaves a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. Sen. Reed, along with Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, led the effort to reauthorize the benefits for three months which expired on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., center, joined by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, right, leaves a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. Sen. Reed, along with Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, led the effort to reauthorize the benefits for three months which expired on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., center, joined by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, right, leaves a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. Sen. Reed, along with Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, led the effort to reauthorize the benefits for three months which expired on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., center, joined by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, right, leaves a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. Sen. Reed, along with Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, led the effort to reauthorize the benefits for three months which expired on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., center, joined by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, right, leaves a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. Sen. Reed, along with Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, led the effort to reauthorize the benefits for three months which expired on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., center, joined by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, right, leaves a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. Sen. Reed, along with Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, led the effort to reauthorize the benefits for three months which expired on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., left, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, right, arrive at the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, for a procedural vote on legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., left, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, right, arrive at the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, for a procedural vote on legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., left, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, right, arrive at the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, for a procedural vote on legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., left, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, right, arrive at the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, for a procedural vote on legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • President Barack Obama walks out of the East Room into the Green Room of the White House in Washington after he spoke about benefits for the unemployed, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. Legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed has cleared an initial Senate hurdle, but the bill's fate remains in doubt. The vote Tuesday was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    President Barack Obama walks out of the East Room into the Green Room of the White House in Washington after he spoke about benefits for the unemployed, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. Legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed has cleared an initial Senate hurdle, but the bill's fate remains in doubt. The vote Tuesday was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • President Barack Obama walks out of the East Room into the Green Room of the White House in Washington after he spoke about benefits for the unemployed, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. The president applauded a Senate vote advancing legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed as an important step. The Senate voted 60-37 Tuesday to clear the bill's first hurdle. But Republicans who voted to move ahead still want concessions that will have to be worked out before final passage. The Republican-controlled House would also have to vote for it.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    President Barack Obama walks out of the East Room into the Green Room of the White House in Washington after he spoke about benefits for the unemployed, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. The president applauded a Senate vote advancing legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed as an important step. The Senate voted 60-37 Tuesday to clear the bill's first hurdle. But Republicans who voted to move ahead still want concessions that will have to be worked out before final passage. The Republican-controlled House would also have to vote for it. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • President Barack Obama walks out of the East Room into the Green Room of the White House in Washington after he spoke about benefits for the unemployed, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. The president applauded a Senate vote advancing legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed as an important step. The Senate voted 60-37 Tuesday to clear the bill's first hurdle. But Republicans who voted to move ahead still want concessions that will have to be worked out before final passage. The Republican-controlled House would also have to vote for it.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    President Barack Obama walks out of the East Room into the Green Room of the White House in Washington after he spoke about benefits for the unemployed, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. The president applauded a Senate vote advancing legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed as an important step. The Senate voted 60-37 Tuesday to clear the bill's first hurdle. But Republicans who voted to move ahead still want concessions that will have to be worked out before final passage. The Republican-controlled House would also have to vote for it. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, accompanied by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., along with Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, led the effort to reauthorize the benefits for three months which expired on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, accompanied by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., along with Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, led the effort to reauthorize the benefits for three months which expired on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, accompanied by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., along with Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, led the effort to reauthorize the benefits for three months which expired on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, accompanied by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., along with Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, led the effort to reauthorize the benefits for three months which expired on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., second from left, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle. From left are, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Schumer, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., along with Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, led the effort to reauthorize the benefits for three months which expired on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., second from left, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle. From left are, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Schumer, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., along with Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, led the effort to reauthorize the benefits for three months which expired on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Ky., right, accompanied by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., the Republican Policy Committee chairman, arrives to tell reporters that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., and his political tactics are almost entirely responsible for making the Senate dysfunctional, following a procedural vote on legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Ky., right, accompanied by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., the Republican Policy Committee chairman, arrives to tell reporters that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., and his political tactics are almost entirely responsible for making the Senate dysfunctional, following a procedural vote on legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • President Barack Obama speaks about unemployment benefits, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington. The president applauded a Senate vote advancing legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed as an important step. The Senate voted 60-37 Tuesday to clear the bill's first hurdle. But Republicans who voted to move ahead still want concessions that will have to be worked out before final passage. The Republican-controlled House would also have to vote for it. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
  • Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., center, joined by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, right, leaves a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. Sen. Reed, along with Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, led the effort to reauthorize the benefits for three months which expired on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., center, joined by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, right, leaves a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. Sen. Reed, along with Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, led the effort to reauthorize the benefits for three months which expired on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., center, joined by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, right, leaves a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. Sen. Reed, along with Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, led the effort to reauthorize the benefits for three months which expired on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., left, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, right, arrive at the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, for a procedural vote on legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., left, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, right, arrive at the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, for a procedural vote on legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • President Barack Obama walks out of the East Room into the Green Room of the White House in Washington after he spoke about benefits for the unemployed, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. Legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed has cleared an initial Senate hurdle, but the bill's fate remains in doubt. The vote Tuesday was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • President Barack Obama walks out of the East Room into the Green Room of the White House in Washington after he spoke about benefits for the unemployed, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. The president applauded a Senate vote advancing legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed as an important step. The Senate voted 60-37 Tuesday to clear the bill's first hurdle. But Republicans who voted to move ahead still want concessions that will have to be worked out before final passage. The Republican-controlled House would also have to vote for it.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • President Barack Obama walks out of the East Room into the Green Room of the White House in Washington after he spoke about benefits for the unemployed, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. The president applauded a Senate vote advancing legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed as an important step. The Senate voted 60-37 Tuesday to clear the bill's first hurdle. But Republicans who voted to move ahead still want concessions that will have to be worked out before final passage. The Republican-controlled House would also have to vote for it.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, accompanied by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., along with Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, led the effort to reauthorize the benefits for three months which expired on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, accompanied by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, after legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., along with Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, led the effort to reauthorize the benefits for three months which expired on Dec. 28. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Washington — Election-year legislation to revive expired federal jobless benefits unexpectedly cleared an early hurdle on Tuesday, offering a hint of bipartisan compromise in Congress and a glimmer of hope to the long-term jobless and their families.

“Let’s get this done,” implored President Barack Obama at the White House, shortly after six Republicans, including Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., sided with Democrats on a 60-37 Senate vote to keep the measure alive.

Even so, the fate of the three-month reinstatement remained uncertain in an atmosphere of intense partisanship at the dawn of an election year.

The two parties have made it clear they intend to battle for the support of millions of voters who have suffered economically through the worst recession in decades and the slow, plodding recovery that has followed.

The often-cited phrase is “income disparity” — the gap between the rich and the economically squeezed. Democrats are expected to follow the effort on jobless benefits with another pocketbook measure, a proposal to increase the federal minimum wage.

The maneuvering on Tuesday was intense. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell proposed paying for the renewal of federal jobless benefits by delaying a requirement for millions of Americans to purchase coverage under “Obamacare” — an attempt to force Democrats to take a public stand on that highly controversial issue.

Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who generally seeks to shield his rank and file from politically painful votes, deemed McConnell’s proposal a non-starter.

At the same time, Reid and White House officials suggested they would be receptive to cuts elsewhere in the federal budget to offset the cost of a yearlong renewal of the program, if Republicans would first agree to turn the benefits back on for three months without preconditions.

Reid also said he’d be willing to consider allowing votes on proposed changes, but avoided a flat commitment on a demand Republicans said was essential.

The legislation at the heart of the maneuvering would restore benefits averaging $256 weekly to an estimated 1.3 million long-term jobless Americans who were cut off when the program expired Dec. 28. Duration of federal coverage generally ranges from 14 to 47 weeks, depending on the level of unemployment within individual states. The three-month cost to the Treasury is estimated at $6.4 billion.

Without action by Congress, hundreds of thousands more will feel the impact in the months ahead as their state-funded benefits expire, generally after 26 weeks.

Democrats had appeared poised to blame Republicans for blocking the legislation, and the outcome of Tuesday’s vote appeared to catch them off-guard.

The six Republicans who voted to overcome a filibuster were Ayotte, Dean Heller of Nevada, Dan Coats of Indiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Rob Portman of Ohio.

Heller, Coats and Portman all represents states with unemployment above the national average of 7 percent.

Coats, for one, immediately made clear that his vote came with conditions attached. He said he opposes the measure as drafted, and would vote against it on final passage if Reid “again obstructs senators from offering amendments.”

The Indiana Republican said he believes any extension in benefits should be offset by cuts elsewhere in the budget to prevent deficits from rising. He said he also favors provisions to help “put Americans back to work,” comments similar to those made by McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner during the day.

Separately, a half dozen Republicans swung behind a proposal, made by Ayotte, to pay for a renewal of benefits by preventing immigrants who live in the country illegally from claiming an income tax break that goes to some families with children.

The same proposal would reverse a provision approved in December to slow the annual increase in veterans retirement benefits for recipients under age 62.

Reid, in comments to reporters, said unemployment benefits had been extended several times when George W. Bush was president and Congress did not insist on paying for them with cuts elsewhere in the budget.

“This is new religion to them,” he said of Republicans.

Any debate over paying for renewing jobless benefits is almost certain to circle back to a perennial disagreement over taxes.

In last month’s successful negotiations over spending legislation, Democrats sought to close tax loopholes to keep deficits from rising. Republicans refused, demanding spending cuts or higher fees instead.

At the same time the two parties struggle with one another, Republicans are also under pressure from outside groups who oppose any renewal of jobless benefits, including some with ties to the tea party.

Any legislation that clears the Senate would also have to make it through the House, where dozens of tea party-aligned lawmakers are in office.

In a statement issued shortly after the Senate vote, Boehner, R-Ohio, said he has previously informed the White House that any measure to renew unemployment benefits “should not only be paid for but include something to help put people back to work. To date, the president has offered no such plan. If he does, I’ll be happy to discuss it.”