Republicans caved on Wednesday night, ending their opposition over a bill that would extend unemployment benefits, after holding the process hostage for several weeks. The bill in question extends unemployment benefits for an additional 14 weeks across the board—and for 20 weeks in states with ultra-high unemployment. The extension passed 98-0 and wasn't itself controversial, although the difficulty of its passage demonstrates how a minority party in the Senate has the power to make the majority's agenda extremely difficult. Republicans had filibustered the bill, they said, to stand up for their right, as the minority party, to add amendments to bills. While the bill was stalled, 200,000 people actively looking for work lost their unemployment benefits.
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