Published: Nov 18, 2010 8:25 PM EST
Updated: Nov 18, 2010 5:25 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans in the House have blocked a bill that would have extended jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed beyond the holiday season.

The most recent extension of jobless benefits expires Dec. 1. Two million people will lose benefits averaging $310 a week nationwide by the end of the year.

The measure would have extended jobless benefits through the end of February at a cost of adding $12.5 billion to the nation's debt. Republicans opposing the measure said that the measure should be paid for by cutting unspent money from last year's economic stimulus bill.

Democrats brought the measure to the floor under fast-track rules that required a two-thirds vote to pass, so the measure fell despite winning a majority.