Mar 9, 2010 9:01 AM by Associated Press
Senate Democrats need to muster support today from at least one Republican in a test vote on legislation extending unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless.
The bill could gain momentum because it contains about 60 popular tax breaks for individuals and businesses that expired at the end of last year. The measure would also prevent doctors from absorbing a crippling cut in Medicare payments and give cash-starved states help with Medicaid.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, provided crucial help last week to keep the measure out of another procedural tangle, and Democrats sound confident they will prevail.
All told, the measure would add $107 billion to the deficit over the coming decade. Democrats have labeled most of the bill an emergency measure, exempting it from stricter budget rules enacted
just last month.