Two big votes came in Tuesday afternoon on Capitol Hill: The U.S. Senate has broken the logjam over extending unemployment benefits, and the Senate Judiciary Committee has cleared the way for the full Senate to vote on Elena Kagan becoming the next Associate Justice on the Supreme Court.
By a 60-to-40 vote, the Senate has cut off debate on a plan to extend jobless benefits through November for those who have exhausted their standard state and federal aid (which traditionally runs 26 weeks). Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch joined their Republican brethren Ben Nelson of Nebraska in opposition. The final vote is expected later today.
Meanwhile, the Judiciary Committee voted 13-to-6 to forward Kagan's nomination to the full Senate for consideration. Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, broke ranks with his party to support Kagan. In voting yes, Graham said President Barack Obama had "chosen wisely."