Stabenow Calls for Passage of Tier V Unemployment Extension Bill, Lemieux ObjectsSeptember 29, 2010 - by Donny Shaw
This afternoon Sen. Debbie Ann Stabenow [D, MI] called for the Senate to pass, under unanimous consent, the “Americans Want to Work Act.” The bill would add a fifth tier of unemployment insurance benefits in states with unemployment rates above 7.5%. The fifth tier would give an additional 20 weeks of benefits to unemployed people who have exhausted all of their available unemployment insurance benefits and have not yet found a job. Estimates differ on how many people would quialify for a fifth tier of benefits, but it’s generally believed to be somewhere around 2 million.
Josh at Senatus, caught the action on the Senate floor:
Senator George LeMieux (R-FL) objected to an attempt by Senator Stabenow to unanimously pass this bill. He said Republican members were unclear as to how much the legislation would cost and how it would be paid for. Senator Stabenow said these unemployment provisions constituted emergency spending.
According to observers on Twitter, LeMieux also claimed that he had “just been handed” the bill and needed more time to review it. The bill has been publicly available for review since August 4th. The unemployment rate in Florida right now is 11.6%; you would think LeMieux would have though to take a look at it by now.
In order to overcome LeMieux’s objection to doing this under unanimous consent, the Democrats would have to put together a cloture petition, file for cloture, wait for the cloture motion to ripen, invoke cloture with 60 votes… and then they would begin the actual debate. David Waldman has more detailed information on how that process works.
UPDATE: Here’s a direct link to video of the floor proceedings in which Stabenow motions to pass S.3706 under unanimous consent and LeMieux objects.
UPDATE 2: Better yet, here’s embeddable video from Stabenow’s YouTube account: