Nov. 19, 2010 -- With millions of out-of-work Americans still depending on unemployment benefits for financial support, lawmakers in the House of Representatives have failed to extend benefits, with both sides blaming politics.
While both Democratic and Republican leaders say that extending the benefits is a common goal, there was disagreement about how the $12.5 billion measure will be funded. The benefits of 2 million Americans could be in jeopardy, as relief is set to expire shortly after Thanksgiving.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi needed a two-thirds majority to pass the extension in Thursday's vote, but came up 17 votes short in a tally of 258-154. Eleven Democrats voted against the measure and seven did not vote at all. Twenty-one Republicans voted for an extension.
Both sides were quick to blame each other.
"Today, Democrats voted to extend unemployment insurance to Americans who lost their jobs through no fault of their own; unfortunately, Republicans did not," Pelosi, D-Calif., said.
Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, told Fox News, "Just two weeks after the election, the Democratic leadership is playing politics with people's unemployment benefits."
If the partisan gridlock lifts, the House will have two days after Thanksgiving to try to preserve the benefits.
Our question to you today: What's your reaction to the House's failure to extend unemployment benefits.
ABC's John Parkinson contributed to this report.