The Senate was poised for a crucial vote to temporarily restore long-term unemployment insurance on Tuesday, despite arctic conditions preventing some legislators from making it to Capitol Hill.
Around 1.3 million Americans lost their benefits 10 days ago after a bipartisan budget deal on federal spending failed to include a reauthorisation of the insurance program. A further 72,000 saw their benefits cut off on Saturday.
The 'emergency' federal benefits program applies only to the long-term jobseekers in times of exceptionally high unemployment. Republicans argue the bipartisan bill, which extends the benefits for three months, will add an additional $6.4bn to the deficit.