It looks like Sen. Jim Bunning's filibuster of the $10 billion to extend benefits for unemployed workers is over. For several days, the one senator had been single-handedly blocking any assistance for those in need.
A vote is expected tonight on the measure. We'll bring you the breaking news.
The Kentucky Republican has come under attack by many in his own party and Democrats over his actions. But Bunning's blockade may be history. Tonight's agreement calls for at least two votes. One on extending the benefits. The other vote will be on an amendment proposed by Bunning to pay for it.
Bunning, who is retiring at the end of his year, said he doesn't oppose extending jobless benefits. He just doesn't want to add to the deficit.
"We cannot keep adding to the debt and passing the buck to generations of future workers and taxpayers, my children and your children and our grandchildren," Bunning said this evening on the Senate floor after the agreement was reached.
Stuck in middle of the stalemate, more than a million people who could stop getting unemployment benefits this month if the bill doesn't pass. The bill also provides money for highway projects. The Department of Transportation furloughed 2,000 workers yesterday because the Senate failed to pass the legislation to extend funding for the projects.
We also have the latest developments from Chile where the death toll from Saturday's earthquake is nearing 800. Aftershocks are complicating relief and rescue efforts. Tonight Karl Penhaul shows up the devastation in the small port town of Dichato where after the quake a massive tsunami hit.
There's also a debate going on across America after the SeaWorld tragedy. Should animals, like the killer whale that fatally wounded a trainer, even be held in captivity? Tonight Gary Tuchman looks at the careful balance needed when using animals for education or for performances. He visited the largest wild animal sanctuary in the U.S. The director of the facility in Texas says many of the animals come from cruel and abusive backgrounds. Some performed in circuses and roadside shows. The director of the facility says the animals were taken from their natural habitat and had to perform for people in a very unnatural setting. But is the comparison to those animals and to the SeaWorld's killer whale fair? A trainer at the aquatic amusement park their animals are not mistreated and that they are happy.
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