Thanks to Republicans Scott Brown, George Voinovich, Susan Collins, and Olympia Snowe voting with Democrats, the Senate has moved past a GOP filibuster and will hold a final vote on a legislative package to extend unemployment benefits. The 60 to 34 vote puts an end to Tom Coburn’s attempts to prevent the cost of the aid from being added to the deficit. Scott Brown, who helped break another GOP filibuster in February, defended his aisle jump, saying, “I have pledged to do my best to change the tone in Washington and my vote to continue the debate rather than obstruct it serves as a step in that direction.” His Facebook friends are going to be pissed. [NYT]
It’s the lowest level since the crisis started but the 20th week of over a million jobless claims.
Bottom line: A lot of layoffs are becoming permanent at this point.