Sens. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Jack Reed, D-R.I., were one of this spring's Senate success stories, championing their bipartisan deal to restore unemployment insurance to the nearly 3 million Americans who have been unemployed for over six months. The deal would restart insurance benefits, retroactive to December 28, when they expired, and pay for them through the end of May.
So when June 1 came -- and went -- without a House vote on passage, the moment went largely unacknowledged by Heller or Reed.
Reed sent out a single tweet Friday expressing his disappointment and promising to keep trying get a deal passed.
Disappointed House GOP has blocked bipartisan #RenewUI fix. Helping job seekers is still the right thing to do & so we will keep trying.— Senator Jack Reed (@SenJackReed) May 30, 2014
And a spokeswoman for Sen. Heller, responding to a request for comment, struck a hopeful tone on Monday.
"Senator Heller is working with Senator Reed to explore all viable options in order to get this legislation done, and they continue to discuss a wide variety of ideas," Chandler Smith said. "[They] are continuing to work on a path forward to get this legislation signed into law, and to ensure that these benefits are available to the job-seeking Americans who need them."
Rep. Sander Levin., D-Mich., who has taken up the mantel in the House, dedicated the front page of his House website to the issue, featuring a state-by-state statistics on the number of unemployed and the resulting economic impact.
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