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Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) last night prevented his fellow Democrats from finally passing legislation to extend needed unemployment insurance benefits to out of work Americans. It was the third time the legislation, which has been repeatedly pared down and reshaped in the hunt for votes, has failed to overcome a filibuster. But it was the first time that success or failure rested on a single deciding vote. And because Nelson, the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, joined Republicans and blocked the bill, it will likely not pass until mid-July, after the Senate returns from Independence Day recess. By then Robert Byrd's replacement will be seated, and Dems will have the votes they need to pass their jobs bill.

Here's what happened.

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Byrd To Lie In State In Senate Chamber The late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) will lie in repose today in the Senate, the chamber where he served for over 50 years. The Associated Press highlights the rarity and significance of the event in modern times: "It is fairly common for people of national import to lie in state or in honor in the Rotunda, the great hall in the center of the Capitol. Former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford were honored in the Rotunda in 2004 and early 2007, and civil rights leader Rosa Parks in 2005. But while 45 people, including 19th-century Senate greats such as John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay and Charles Sumner, were commemorated on the Senate floor after their deaths, the last to lie in repose in the Senate was William Langer of North Dakota in 1959."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET. He will meet at 10 a.m. ET with Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner. He will deliver a speech at 10:50 a.m. ET, at American University, on comprehensive immigration reform. He will have lunch with business leaders at 12:15 p.m. ET. Obama and Vice President Biden will meet at 3:05 p.m. ET with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). Obama and Biden will receive a briefing at 3:35 p.m. ET on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. At 4:20 p.m. Et, Obama will welcome the Women's Professional Soccer Champions Sky Blue FC Champions to the White House. Obama will meet with Biden at 5:35 p.m. ET. Then at 6:15 p.m. ET, Obama will sign the Iran Sanctions Bill.

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Could the NY-23 district, which saw a wild special election last year, see a repeat this year -- a tough three-way race pitting Democratic Rep. Bill Owens against a Republican candidate and Conservative Doug Hoffman?

Owens narrowly defeated Hoffman in last year's special election, after Hoffman's Conservative Party candidacy attracted the support of national right-wingers and successfully forced the official GOP nominee, state Rep. Dede Scozzafava, out of the race due to her socially liberal positions.

Roll Call now reports that some people think a Republican split might happen yet again. Hoffman is seeking a rematch with Owens, simultaneously seeking the Conservative and Republican nominations. However, the state GOP establishment is backing businessman Matt Doheny for the nomination. And for his part, Doheny's campaign is assuming that Hoffman would keep on running as a Conservative if he were to lose the primary -- something Hoffman has not fully ruled out.

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Key members of the House Republican leadership this week finally signed on to a measure that would repeal health care reform -- after pressure from the ultra-conservative Club for Growth.

We've written thousands of words about Republicans' on-again, off-again desire to repeal the health care reform law passed this spring. There are plenty of bills out there that would repeal the measure, and the official GOP platform as they attempt to win back power in Congress during this fall's elections is that they would "repeal and replace" reform with their own version. This strategy comes as the Republican base is pushing them more and more to fight what critics call "ObamaCare," while the general public is warming to the law. Another new poll yesterday adds to the trend that health care reform's popularity is on the rise.

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By a vote of 237-192, the House of Representatives this afternoon voted to pass final legislation dramatically changing the rules that govern the financial industry. Nineteen Democrats joined 173 Republicans in opposing the legislation, which, in addition to limiting the risky practices that lead to the 2008 collapse, will create a new federal agency dedicated to protecting consumers from predatory financial products, and bring to a close the Troubled Asset Relief Plan -- the bailout program created by the Congress in the midst of the financial crisis. Three Republicans voted for the bill, and four members (two Democrats, two Republicans) did not vote.

The Senate is set to take up identical legislation shortly after they return from next week's Independence Day recess. Democrats had hoped to send the Wall Street reform bill to President Obama by weeks end, but last minute hiccups in the Senate -- objections of key Republicans and the death of Robert Byrd -- ultimately made that impossible.

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Lindsey Graham, a self-described supporter of the rights of the unborn, went after Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan today over her views on abortion rights and, more importantly, her understanding of Roe v. Wade and how medical advancements might change the historic Supreme Court decision.

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Illinois state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, the Democratic nominee for President Obama's former Senate seat, has a new TV ad brutally taking down his Republican rival, Rep. Mark Kirk, over Kirk's various misstatements about his military record.

The ad is a montage of news clips and headlines about Kirk's false claims: That he won a prestigious officer's award, that he was shot at in Iraq, and that he has commanded the Pentagon War Room. In each case, video of Kirk making the claim is accompanied by the date, so the viewer gets to see him telling tall tales throughout the past decade in 2002, 2003, 2009 and 2010. And the on-screen text at the end of the ad provides the most damaging label of all, in this election year: "Typical Washington Politician."

The Giannoulias camp tells us that the ad will be on TV, but is not up as of yet while they are working out the details of the buy. The TPM Poll Average gives Kirk a lead of 43.1%-38.4%. Giannoulias was having a rough time in the last few months due to his own problem, the failure of his family's bank -- which Kirk is going after in his own attack ads. But now that the press has done a lot of work digging up Kirk's scandals, Giannoulias is clearly going back on offense.

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