Last week it was unemployed Maine workers who were on the short end of the U.S. Senate’s failure to pass the so-called “jobs bill,” which would have extended expiring unemployment benefits.

This week it’s the state’s bureaucrats, who now have to go back and look for ways to scale back spending in order to fill a $100 million hole blasted in a two-year budget that was balanced on the promise of extra support from the federal government.

The bill that would have taken care of both issues died in the U.S. Senate after failing to get 60 votes last week. All of the Senate Republicans, including Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, and one Democrat voted against bringing the measure forward.

Snowe has submitted a stand-alone bill that would extend unemployment benefits for six months, but it’s unclear whether there are enough votes to pass it. With the death of West Virginia Democrat Robert Byrd this week, and the opposition of Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson, who opposes any new deficit spending, the Democrats have no more than 57 votes. That means the measure would need votes from Snowe and two other Republicans to break a filibuster.

As uncertain as that possibility seems, there is no sign that the aid to the states has even that level of support.

The impact on unemployed workers of congressional failure to act is easy to define. At a time when the economy is not producing any jobs, the jobless will be penalized for not being able to find work. Their loss of income will ripple through the economy, affecting landlords, stores and other businesses.

Cuts to state programs will have the same kind of effect. State agencies had already scaled back or eliminated programs when lawmakers cut spending to keep up with declining revenues.

Important services are already failing to fulfill their missions, such as residential drug treatment programs that would actually save the state money in the law enforcement and corrections sectors if they were adequately funded.

Congress has found money to bail out banks and the auto industry, and should find a way to help unemployed workers and state governments as the budget crisis continues.