Just got off a conference call with Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and she 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.
"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."
From Mother Jones:
What’s the price of this political obstructionism? In addition to the millions of Americans who stand to lose unemployment benefits, a huge number of private and public sector employees will lose their jobs due to state budget cuts. Without federal help, states will have to pour more money to prop up Medicaid, forcing them to make cutbacks in other parts of the budget. As a result, Moody's chief economist estimates that 200,000 jobs could be axed without federal Medicaid support, and the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities puts the number as high as 900,000—jobs belonging to teachers, firemen, police, and social workers, among others.
While federal and state governments both contribute to Medicaid funding, the economic crisis has left the states in a terrible budget crunch. The federal government has tried to step in, devoting over 60 percent of the federal stimulus money to propping up Medicaid so states wouldn’t have to make other cuts. But that money is now set to expire, and the states have yet to recover from the effects of the recession to make up the difference.
In addition to the unemployment benefit and job losses, the cuts to social services could be brutal.