Number of Americans filing for unemployment rises

Senate Republicans have blocked a bill that would have extended unemployment benefits for more than 1 million unemployed Americans.

The unemployment bill would have provided up to 99 weeks of unemployment checks for people whose 26 weeks of state unemployment benefits have run out.

Meanwhile, officials say the number of Americans filing for unemployment for the first time has risen for the second time in three weeks. The number is now at the highest level since March.

There are now about 4.6 million Americans receiving unemployment checks.

The Senate is expected to revisit the bill once a replacement has been named for Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), who died Monday.

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