Congress allowed extended benefits for people who've been out of work for longer than six months to lapse at the beginning of June. Since then, Senate Democrats have repeatedly failed to muster 60 votes to overcome the deficit reduction demands of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Republicans.
Opponents have been preventing a final vote on the bill because of its $33 billion cost. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has blasted lawmakers for the delays.
"Almost two million people who are long-term unemployed," Reid said recently. "These are not numbers. They are people."
The Huffington Post has been documenting Congressional dithering on extending benefits for unemployed Americans. Here's are key developments in reverse chronological order: