The White House says Senator Jim Bunning, a Kentucky Republican, placed politics before the principle of helping jobless Americans. He blocked the passage of a 30-day extension of unemployment benefits, saying the $10 billion plan must be paid for first.
The apparent stalemate could affect people attending Monday's job fair. Some may be running out of time and money.
Last year, the same job fair had about 3,500 people registered.
The Senate returns to session Tuesday and could renew benefits if leaders can get the votes.
Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona says the extension will pass, but only because it's temporary.
Kyl told "Fox News Sunday" that a longer-term extension will cost much more - and Congress must find a way to pay for it before Republicans will go along.
The job fair in Raleigh begins 11 a.m. at the Radisson Hotel in RTP.
Applicants should dress professionally and bring lots of resumes.