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Congress: Benefits expire

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) criticized Republicans Sunday for blocking unemployment benefits, which will expire Monday while Congress is out of session," The Hill reports. Reid issued a statement saying that Republicans making 'excuses' for stalling the benefits package and are hurting the unemployed. 'Families in Nevada and across America are struggling to make ends meet, and many are relying on unemployment insurance and health benefits as they look to find work,' he said. 'It is inexcusable and irresponsible for Republicans to once again block the extension of these benefits. Their excuses ring hollow to American workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own and are trying to put food on the table, pay the rent, and take their children to the doctors.'"

"The president of Pakistan recently sent Senator John F. Kerry flowers," the Boston Globe writes. "Pakistan's powerful army chief spent three hours at Kerry's house recently for dinner. And soon, officials in Islamabad will confer on Kerry the 'hilal-e-Pakistan' -- the highest honor given to a foreigner… As part of the funding offensive, Kerry has become a key architect of a policy shift away from strictly short-term, conditional payments to Pakistan's military and toward long-term pledges of assistance to its citizens. As a result, Pakistan is on track to become the second-largest recipient of US foreign aid in the world, outstripping Israel, historically the largest recipient, according to preliminary budget documents the administration gave to Congress."  
 
"Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) said he knows who he'd like to fill Justice John Paul Stevens' seat on the Supreme Court, but he'll tell that to President Barack Obama on Monday," The Hill writes. "Stevens, who turns 90 this month, said in an interview that he would 'surely' retire during Obama's term." Specter also said he'd like to see Stevens retire next year instead of this year because he fears the Senate would filibuster this year. And as far as what kind of background he'd like to see a nominee have, catch this quote: "We have enough ex-circuit justices on the Supreme Court."  
 
"Fresh off their successful use of filibuster-busting reconciliation rules to pass their health-care-cum-student-loan-overhaul, Democrats preparing to write a new budget blueprint have to decide whether to give the controversial practice another go later this year," Roll Call writes.  
 
Rep. John Lewis says the U.S. lacks a "moral leader" 42 years after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.