WASHINGTON (AP) - Faced with a losing showdown vote Wednesday, Senate Democrats trying to extend unemployment benefits and help for doctors facing Medicare payment cuts are scaling back a catchall tax and spending bill.
Anxiety over record budget deficits is fueling the moves, which include rolling back last year's $25 a week increase in unemployment checks and giving doctors only a short reprieve from scheduled Medicare payment cuts.
The legislation also includes dozens of popular but expired tax breaks.
To advance the bill, it will take at least two Republicans to clear a hurdle requiring 60 votes in the 100-member Senate. Democrats admit those votes are lacking, even though an earlier version passed the Senate fairly easily just three months ago.