Just got off a conference call with Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and she practically begged for our help in getting people to flood their local senators’ offices for the jobs bill now being filibustered by Republicans.
“We don’t have even one Republican willing to help us break this filibuster,” she said. “We have every anticipation that we will not have the votes. It’s become very clear that the Republicans in the Senate want this bill to fail.”
She said every time the Republicans raised an objection, and the Democrats responded, they changed their objections again.
“It’s a cynical move, because it doesn’t serve them in terms of their elections this fall. They have decided they want this economy to fail, and they’re willing to take the country down with them,” she said in an emotional conference call.
Republicans have claimed that the extended unemployment benefits can’t be covered as an emergency. “If 15 million people without jobs isn’t an emergency, I don’t know what is,” she said.
Stabenow said Democrats have paid for the job provisions in this bill. “When you look underneath, they [Republicans] are protecting wealthy investors who are sending jobs overseas and the big oil companies,” she said. The Democratic bill removes tax incentives for sending jobs overseas, and increases the charge per barrel for cleaning up oil spills.
“We desperately need to keep this economic recovery going. Unemployment benefits help people keep food on the table, and a little gas in the car to go look for work,” she said.
“The Republicans are counting on the fact that no one’s going to know what’s going on here. It would help us if offices were flooded with emails, and phone calls and outrage when we come back next week.”
“What we really need an echo chamber, and that’s why I’m asking for your help. They may think this is a game, but it’s not a game. If they think it’s a game, shame on them.”
She said the Democratic leadership is working on a public appeal.
“The inability to get Republican votes on this does not bode well for any future bills,” the Michigan senator said. “They are purely just into election mode for the fall, and think if they can create as much pain as possible, people will not vote at all or vote for those who are not in the majority.
“But we’re not giving up. We’re determined, and we will continue to fight. This is not some cynical game here, this is about real people.”