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Originally posted on Roger Meier:
The U.S. Senate had a vote on February 6th 2014 to extend Unemployment Benefits, and the vote was 58 in favor, 40 opposed with 2 abstentions. Actually the vote was for Cloture, required to pass before sending a piece of legislation to the floor for a final vote. All legislation in the U.S. Senate need to go through Cloture, and Cloture requires a Super Majority of 60 Yea votes before a bill can proceed for a final vote. This means that if 41 Senators are opposed to a piece of legislation they can block it from coming up for a vote by denying Cloture. So while the vote was solidly in favor of extending unemployment benefits 58-40, without the support of 60 Senators it did not achieve Cloture and the Unemployment Benefits were not extended.