Senate Breaks Unemployment Filibuster

"They want to pay for this by taking the money out of programs that we're going to use to put people to work, taking the money away from projects that are going to be built across America to put construction workers back to work," Durbin said.

The tone has become more heated among Democrats frustrated with Republicans complaining about deficit spending.

"I'm getting a little tired of being preached to by the other side of the aisle about fiscal conservatism," Durbin said today. "It was their president, the last president [George W. Bush], who more than doubled the national debt in this country from $5 trillion to $12 trillion."

He did not mention that with the stimulus, the debt has grown even more under President Obama.

Proposals to extend unemployment benefits through 2010 passed both houses of Congress this year, but in different forms. Democrats in the House and Senate have not been able to agree on how to blend the two.

Senate Democrats decided to leave Washington in part because House Democrats had already gone. Even if they had remained in town at the end of last month, they could not have altered the extension bill until the rest of Congress had returned to work.

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