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GOP push to attach amendments to unemployment bill fails

A deal fell apart to allow additional Republican amendments to a bill that would restore unemployment insurance payments to long-term jobless.

By
Gabrielle Levy
US Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) makes remarks at a press briefing to rally support for Congress to renew unemployment insurance benefits, which earlier failed to pass Republican opposition, at the US Capitol, January 16, 2014, in Washington, DC. The boxes in the foreground hold petitions to be delivered to Congressional leaders as labor leaders hold signs to support jobless Americans. UPI/Mike Theiler
US Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) makes remarks at a press briefing to rally support for Congress to renew unemployment insurance benefits, which earlier failed to pass Republican opposition, at the US Capitol, January 16, 2014, in Washington, DC. The boxes in the foreground hold petitions to be delivered to Congressional leaders as labor leaders hold signs to support jobless Americans. UPI/Mike Theiler | License Photo

WASHINGTON, April 3 (UPI) -- Republicans in the Senate have spent the week railing against Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has refused to allow additional amendments to a bill that would restore unemployment insurance payments to long-term jobless.

But a deal that would attach a "catch-all" amendment, pushed by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that included several pet Republican issues meant to boost job creation, fell apart shortly before a cloture bill was scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

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The amendment would have included approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, set up a vote on a paycheck equality bill, a proposal to block new carbon emissions rules for coal-fired plants, ditching the medical device tax under the Affordable Care Act and eliminates language in the healthcare law that defines workers as those who work at least 30 hours a week.

The Senate is voting Thursday for cloture to end debate and any chance of a filibuster. Previous test votes got the support of a handful of Republicans, enough to eke by.

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