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Stabenow Calls for Passage of Tier V Unemployment Extension Bill, Lemieux Objects

September 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:

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Displaying 1-30 of 61 total comments.

  • PolicyOgre 09/29/2010 11:24am

    This bill will never pass and that is a rotten shame. What ever happened to helping those in need?

  • carter4594 09/29/2010 11:42am

    This legislation won’t see the light of day. The amount of Senators who believe, more than 99 weeks is just plain welfare, out numbers the Senators who genuinely think 99ers need help. Stop driving yourselves crazy with worry and anticipation for the legislation. I commend Debbie Stabenow, although I think she did this to look good to her constituents, but its not going to fly. Being a 99er I know ow hard it is but it is time we came to grips with the FACT congress isn’t going to help us.

  • eavina30 09/29/2010 12:02pm
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    + -1

    It’s obvious these people have there own agenda and have absolutely no idea what’s going on in the real world…NOVO

  • TheDutchess 09/29/2010 12:36pm

    You see in the House today, they finally passed the healthcare bill for all of those first responders to get the healthcare that they needed for so long. Guess who voted against it? THE REPUBLICANS OF COURSE!!! If we don’t get it together before the November elections, the Democrats could potentially lose their hold on Congress to all those tea baggers. They definitely won’t vote on any bill for us that would mean giving us additional benefits. Do the right thing and make sure you vote for those that have been working hard to pass the bills that the American citizens need without bending to politics. No, the Democrats are far from perfect, but at least, they are the only ones that know that the working folks are the ones that count…..

  • eavina30 09/29/2010 2:32pm
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    + -1

    The Democrats already have the majority in the house and the senate, what makes you think that they will help us past November. NOVO

  • Comm_reply
    bcarney 09/29/2010 3:19pm

    Exactly!! Why does Senator Stabenow keep waiting until two days before they leave to say something? She did this in August before their month long vacation and she’s doing it now, just before they leave to campaign. Does anybody else see the connection, here? This is a ploy to act as if they care, to get our votes. If they actually cared, this bill would have taken precedence over other legislation that is not as critical as American’s going hungry and homeless; for example, the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” bs. How and in what world would this be more important than the hardship of working class Americans who have become unemployed unemployed through no fault of their own and now can’t survive as a result of this so called ‘jobless recovery’?

  • Comm_reply
    Naame 09/30/2010 5:31am

    Having a majority in the Senate is not enough when a filibuster occurs every time.

    In addition to a super majority, a party needs at least 60 members of that super majority to truly fall within party lines. There are a lot of blue dog Democrats in both the House and the Senate. Some of them vote with the Republicans over 75% of the time. I don’t see how one could call themselves a member of any party when your voting record shows that you stand with the other side.

    Finally, the Democrats have been pushing for small business tax breaks, UI benefits, killing off incentives for jobs overseas, and just recently Obama announced that he would like to see all capital investments for all businesses to be tax deductible for 2011. Most of this stuff would normally be a Republican’s wet dream if they actually prioritized fixing this country over allowing the Democrats a potential victory.

  • Comm_reply
    TheDutchess 09/30/2010 5:48am

    The Democrats are our only hope. Do you see any Republicans trying to get us extended benefits? I don’t. They may have majority but it you fully understand how things work in Congress, then you would know that you still need some from the other side to get things through. The party of NO has not done anything to help us get benefits. Have you forgotten what happened over the summer? They need to make sure that when they do try this time, that it goes through without any filibustering like what happened over the summer. I understand why Reid is doing what he’s doing. Honestly, it would take an entire week just to get through the process after the Republicans say no. I think that Reid wants to put it through without any hold-ups. I’m all for that…

  • Comm_reply
    DeborahJBrown 09/30/2010 8:21am

    We know FOR SURE that Republicans won’t… it’s a 50/50 toss of the dice. We can choose from those who demonstrate they have zero interest in helping (Republicans) or we can choose from those who show some level of concern (even before the campaigning began)… THINK HARD, weigh it. I am a registered Republican and have been since 1972. I am 56 years old, long-term unemployed and tired of being accused of not finding jobs that don’t exist. I cannot afford to support the Republican party this year… that is voting for a guaranteed ZERO CONCERN for unemployment and job restoration.

  • Moderated Comment

  • bcarney 09/29/2010 3:23pm

    These people are vacationing, left and right getting paid close to $300,000 a year and more and enjoying other perks, while we go homeless and hungry, including our children!!! How dare they do this to us, yet again?! How dare they think that their children should live better than ours?

  • Comm_reply
    nmeagent 09/29/2010 6:49pm
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    + -2

    The fact that you are unemployed does not give you the right to steal from the children of the employed, no matter how hungry your children may or may not be. Remember who would pay for yet another extension of unemployment benefits.

  • Comm_reply
    TheDutchess 09/30/2010 5:38am

    Really? I mean really? Do you really feel that way? If all of us felt that way, then I’m sure all of those first responders would have never put their lives on the line and try and help get those people to safety.So I guess if your house caught on fire, no one should put their lives on the line to try to get you or your kids out. They should probably think, "Well, it’s not my fault that their house in on fire. I’m not responsible for them. Let them help themselves…. Why have charities? Let those people that have sick children figure it out. Why should I give to them when its taking from me and my family? If this is your attitude, I hope nothing ever happens to you or your family. You call trying to feed our own children stealing from your children? How dare you? You should be ashamed of yourself. What goes around, comes around.

  • Comm_reply
    nmeagent 10/01/2010 1:55pm
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    + -2

    I don’t think you read my comment very well. If your house is on fire, most people are actually standing around doing nothing. The first responders, who VOLUNTEER to put their lives on the lives to do things like put out fires, actually do the work. Charities are also VOLUNTARY. Taxation for a new round of unemployment benefits is COMPULSORY. If I refuse to pay the portion of taxes that goes towards this end, I will have some of my income forcibly confiscated. If I resist this in any effective manner, I will be thrown in jail. If I try to resist this or escape, I will be shot dead on the street. Compulsory taxation comes with an implicit threat of FORCE. If your house is on fire, would you force at gunpoint any people gawking at the flames from the street to put out the fire with their hands? I know I just constructed an enormous straw man, but geez, lady, give me a break.

  • bcarney 09/29/2010 3:46pm

    What they fail to realize is that these people had to meet certain criteria, in the first place, in order to be eligible for unemployment benefits. They could not have quit their jobs, or gotten fired otherwise they would not be eligible. This should confirm that we are not lazy or poor workers. Also, we are working class, not welfare class; meaning, we have worked and help build this nation for decades and paid our taxes just like everybody else and had no problem doing this! They took our jobs from us and they are still outsourcing and this is why we can’t support ourselves or our families!! When is the victim to blame?? If they had left us alone in the first place we would still be working and paying taxes and celebrating holidays like they are! If working our jobs until they were taken away doesn’t prove that we want to work, then what does?

  • Comm_reply
    nmeagent 09/29/2010 6:57pm

    “They took our jobs from us and they are still outsourcing and this is why we can’t support ourselves or our families!! "

    These jobs don’t belong to you. They are the employers’ to do with as they wish, contracts notwithstanding. If you want to work then stop supporting government that continues to make it incredibly unattractive to do business in the United States. Support candidates that will lower taxes, reduce regulations and associated compliance costs, and generally shrink the size of government. Until you identify the real problems and do something substantive about them, you will always be a periodic victim.

  • Comm_reply
    Jeff58 09/30/2010 9:53pm

    Honestly spoken. Thanks

  • Comm_reply
    JMac 09/30/2010 11:04pm

    This is a typical Tea Party sound bite. Just a general statement without any examples is worthless. Which regulations would you like to get rid of? Maybe we could allow Union Carbide to run their chemical plants right here in this country like they do in India and we could have our own Chernobyl. In fact maybe they could build the plant right down the road from where you live. Lets get rid of all those other nasty regulations while we are at it. The big corporations know what is best for us. They’ll take care of us.

  • Comm_reply
    nmeagent 10/01/2010 2:09pm
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    + -1

    “Which regulations would you like to get rid of?”

    Everything that is not explicitly enumerated in Article I Section 8 of the Constitution or is necessary to carry into effect those powers (use the definitions of terms like ‘commerce’ as understood at the time as well).

    “Maybe we could allow…”

    States have general governments and can regulate in this area if they wish. If you don’t like a state’s regulatory regime, you still have the option of relocating to another. You also don’t have to do business with such a company and if you have a valid tort it’s all fair game for the courts.

    By the way, I’m not in any damn tea party (but thanks for the idiotic assumption).

  • Comm_reply
    beenblue 10/01/2010 9:58pm

    Your temperament is a disease that afflicts amateurs, and your vitriolic criticism causes one to dismiss you as a victim of tourette syndrome. I understand that your trying to come off as an intellectual with your scraps of learning, but your lacking originality, honestly why don`t you try some good judgment instead.

  • Comm_reply
    nmeagent 10/02/2010 9:01am
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    + -1

    From what I’ve read, your comments lack substance and tend to be based mostly on emotion. If you don’t agree with that statement, feel free to attempt to prove me wrong.

  • Comm_reply
    beenblue 10/02/2010 11:53am

    These are emotional times in which we are living as I`v stated before, and emotion based politics are volatile, fueled by passion and not by sound reason. Your assumption of my observation in this matter, is of little consequence, as you always loose your temper when called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason. With most men, unbelief in one thing springs from the blind belief in another, and I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed person, it`s not polite…..

  • Comm_reply
    nmeagent 10/02/2010 3:54pm
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    + -2

    “you always loose your temper when called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.”

    That’s funny, I feel quite calm.

    “With most men, unbelief in one thing springs from the blind belief in another…”

    Do you make unsupported assumptions on a regular basis or is this a special occasion?

    “…and I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed person, it`s not polite…..”

    I think politeness went out the window when you accused me of having Tourette’s, but that’s just my enraged, amateurish opinion I guess.

  • Comm_reply
    beenblue 10/01/2010 10:14pm

    Dear JMac, It`s all sound bites, and borrowed opinions BE COOL, don`t let them get under your skin and remember to vote, hang in there……

  • Comm_reply
    comments11660 10/13/2010 4:05am
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    + -1

    WOW typical empirical attitude. Kill the Indians so we can have the profits!!! What a hypocrite you are!!! No wonder the rest of the world hates American!!! I’ll bet you’ve NEVER spent one day outside of US borders!!! You are unbelievable!!! When did we stop being our brother’s keepers speaking of India?! Maybe we would be better served forcing corporations to be responsible. Personally I prefer nmeagent’s comments to your hypocrisy at least he tells it like it is “they took our jobs by outsourcing!!!” Can you not read the handwriting on the wall are you so ignorant?!!! Long live the Republic!!! And the U.S. Constitution!!!

  • bcarney 09/29/2010 3:53pm

    They used to argue that receiving unemployment benefits kept us from looking for work! Well, news flash, we (99ers) have been without benefits for 7 months now, so now what is their excuse? These people are incredible! If we were living in another country and going hungry and homeless they would send billions to help, without a second thought and with American working class tax money! But, American working class tax money can’t help unemployed working class??? WTF is that? We need a helping hand until jobs are created…what happened to patriotism? Or appreciation for those that paid taxes for 3 and 4 decades? Do we suddenly not count because they took our jobs and we can’t pay? Guess what, even with unemployment benefits we paid taxes and spent money to help the economy…so what’s the problem? Deficit? What about the millionaire tax breaks that added to the deficit, for rich people to hold on to all their money instead of paying like the poor person does?

  • Aaron92656 09/29/2010 3:54pm

    It is VERY clear of the majority of American people, The United States Government is broken, it [has] been broken. Wall Street, Corporate America the 2% filthy rich, run this country, this government. Until Americans stand up and take action, there is no life left in this country. Take a look at how much your Senator and House Rep made last year. How many are multi-millionaires!
    OH WAIT, how about how many WEEKS of vacation they take each year. Take a look. Be prepared to throw-up!
    This government has instilled fear for years. They have enacted laws that if an American even tries to create an uproar, guess what, You’re considered a terrorist and will be convicted as one. GOD BLESS AMERICA – THE LAND OF THE FREE!

    Time to WAKE UP America! -YES, that means YOU in the Mid-West Red States!

  • Aaron92656 09/29/2010 3:54pm

    p.s. Did you know that CitiBank is going to pay Stephen Trauber $30M ($10M a year) to run CITIBANK… Don’t think he isn’t sleeping well…. Remember your tax payer bank bail-out money to save them just last year!

    Time to WAKE UP America! -YES, that means YOU in the Mid-West Red States!

  • Comm_reply
    mouseissue 10/02/2010 12:34pm


    Citibank is one of the Progressives (Dems and Reps) best friends.
    If you’re an uber-huge corporation capable of making donations in the million of $$$, they LOVE you! They will even help you get richer in hard times at taxpayer expense!

    The American people are seen as “subjects” to be ruled by a Progressive elite think they know-it-all class. Our votes are the only thing that matter to them. And if they keep moving this country away from it’s constitution, our votes will soon not be needed either… THEN WHAT??? Welcome to tyranny my friend with NO WAY OUT!!!

  • bcarney 09/29/2010 4:12pm

    Even if they pass the Tier V and we eventually get jobs, we are still the losers. We have lost our homes, credit is gone, lost our cars, owe medical bills, depleted our savings, and some of us have lost our children or spouses do to our long-term financial hardships. We have worked all of our lives to own a home, to purchase a decent car to go to and fro, and to save money for our retirement or to send our children to college and they took it all when they took our jobs. Now they have turned their backs and no longer want to give us kibbles and bits so that we don’t starve to death as well. We are angry and we should be because we may never live the American Dream, ever again because of these selfish pigs! They can’t even fathom the plight of the 99ers! They can’t relate because even if they are not re-elected they will be finanically stable for the rest of their lives, off of taxpayer money!!

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