The Washington gridlock unsurprisingly continues into 2014. Attempts at a bipartisan deal to extend benefits for the long-term unemployed fizzled yesterday in the Senate. Some 1.4 million Americans have lost aid since the benefits expired last month. A critical vote to end debate failed 55-45 in a largely party-line vote. “I am still hopeful that while it does not look very good right now, that we can come together," said Senator Susan Collins (R-ME).