updated 4/14/2010 2:20:34 PM ET 2010-04-14T18:20:34

A measure restoring jobless benefits of up to 99 weeks for people struggling to find work after months of unemployment has hit a snag in the Senate.

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Despite winning the Republican vote they needed, Democrats fell just short of the 60 votes necessary to defeat a GOP challenge to the jobless benefits measure. Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy was absent to attend the funeral of a close friend.

The defeat should be temporary since Democrats are likely to win a revote as soon as Wednesday afternoon after Leahy returns to Washington.

Republicans were seeking to force Congress to pay for its $18 billion cost and not add to budget deficits topping $1 trillion.

The temporary measure would extend jobless benefits through June 2.

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