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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.
For most of history voting to reject Cloture was only used by the minority…
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