Senator Jim Bunning, Republican of Kentucky, has decided to lift his opposition to a bill that would extend unemployment benefits and fund highway projects.
Bunning's announcement followed news that his fellow Kentuckian, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, was working with Democrats to pass the bill. Bunning had defiantly filibustered the bill because it's unfunded and will add $10 billion to the current $1.35 trillion federal deficit. He rejected pleas from his own party to drop his opposition.
According to The New York Times, Maine Senator Susan Collins, also a Republican, called for Bunning to drop his opposition.
“When I was home this weekend, I talked to constituents who expressed their utter bafflement that Congress could not proceed on something that has widespread support,” Ms. Collins said.
With the apparent breakthrough, Senate leaders expect to put the bill to a vote on Tuesday night.