Yesterday, a single Republican, George Voinovich of Ohio, joined Democrats to defeat a challenge from Republicans that would have required the $18 billion legislation to be paid for.
That key vote has set the stage for passage of the measure in the Senate today. The extension, which is retroactive to April 5, would then return to the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote, possibly this week as well.
The temporary extension through June 2 will give House and Senate Democrats time to reconcile a bill that would extend benefits through the rest of the year.
The full-year jobless benefits measure also contains tax cuts for individuals and businesses that have also expired. That measure is more complicated because the tax provisions require offsetting revenue increases and those used last month when passing it through the Senate were subsequently snatched up to help pay for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
For the first time, rumors of adding additional weeks of benefits (a Tier V) to that bill are being heard, reports allyourtv.com.
We will see about the Tier V and whether that becomes a reality.