Sen. Tom Carper is the lead sponsor of the amendment to extend jobless benefits that Democratic leaders are furiously trying to get Sen. Joe Manchin to support. And Carper just had a conversation with Sen. John Cornyn about where things stand as the chamber has been stalled for six hours.
Cornyn told CNN that Carper just said to him:
"We're stuck. And I don't know what it's going to take to get unstuck."
Cornyn added: "It sounds like a box canyon. I don't know why you put a bill on the floor and have a vote on something and you didn't know how the vote is going to turn out. That's kind of like whipping 101."
Cornyn added that he's heard separately that Manchin may vote for the GOP alternative, which has been offered by Sen. Rob Portman, in addition to the Carper amendment. That means both would likely be adopted. It's unclear though which proposal would take precedence.
"I don't know how you do that, which would take precedence over the other," he said.
Carper refused to comment on where things stand, only telling CNN: "It's gotta get done."
The Carper amendment would codify a deal reached between the White House and Democratic leaders to extend jobless benefits at $300 a week through September. It would also ensure that the first $10,200 of jobless benefits would not be taxed.
The Portman amendment does not have the tax-free provision and would extend $300 in weekly jobless benefits through July 18.