With Byrd's Replacement Chosen, Democrats Prepare To Advance Unemployment Benefits Extension

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With Byrd's Replacement Chosen, Democrats Prepare To Advance Unemployment Benefits ExtensionWest Virginia Governor Joe Manchin announced last week that he will nominate his former aide Carte Goodwin to fill the seat of former Senator Robert Byrd, a longtime Democratic lawmaker who died last month.

Goodwin, who is expected to be sworn in this week, has already announced that he will vote along party lines and help Democrats extend unemployment benefits to 2.5 million Americans who have been out of work for nearly a year.

With Manchin’s former aide on board, Democrats will have enough support to overcome a Republican filibuster and advance the measure, which has already been passed by the House.

GOP senators have blocked the extension for more than a month due to the fact that it will add $34 billion to the already record-breaking national debt, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that he will schedule a vote on the measure just minutes after Goodwin is confirmed.

However, the soon-to-be senator said last week that he will not support the Democratic-backed cap-and-trade bill that the Obama administration plans to reintroduce in the coming weeks.

"I will not support any piece of legislation that threatens any West Virginia job, any West Virginia family or jeopardizes the long-term economic security of this state," he warned.

Goodwin also noted that he will not look to continue his run as senator beyond this year, CBS News reports. However, Manchin indicated that he is interested in the seat, and may enter the special election in November.
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