New bill to extend unemployment benefits by three months introduced in Senate

During a conference call with reporters Sunday, Reed said he is talking to “everyone” about supporting the extension. But Democratic aides said most of the attention is focused on Republican senators whose states are suffering from high unemployment rates: Sens. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Bob Corker, (Tenn.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), John McCain (Ariz.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Patrick Toomey (Pa.) and Roger Wicker (Miss.).

Spokespeople for Alexander, Chambliss, Isakson, Portman and Wicker said Sunday that the senators plan to vote against the Reed-Heller plan because the cost of extending the program isn’t offset by spending cuts. Aides to Corker and Kirk said Sunday that they didn’t know how the senators planned to vote, while spokespeople for McCain and Toomey didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Democrats are targeting several other GOP senators who have voted in the recent past to end debate on Democratic-backed legislation, a group that often includes Sens. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska). Aides to those senators didn’t respond to requests for comment.