The Senate has passed stopgap legislation to extend help for the jobless and keep federal highway dollars flowing.

The 78-19 vote came after a Republican senator who was single-handedly holding up the legislation finally relented under withering assaults by Democrats and dwindling support within his own party.

Kentucky Republican Jim Bunning had been holding up action for days but conceded after pressure intensified with Monday's cutoff of road funding and longer and more generous unemployment benefits and health insurance subsidies for the jobless. Bunning was seeking to force Democrats to finance the $10 billion measure so that it wouldn't add to the deficit.

Keywords: employmentUS Senate