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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"So with that, Mr. President, I object"

The quote is from Senator George LeMieux, R-FL, who is objecting to a request for unanimous consent by Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-MI:
"And so, Mr. President, on behalf of millions - we know at least 2 million to 3 million people who find themselves in this particular situation, who are asking us to understand, who are asking us for help, asking us to give a lifeline to them so they can care for their families and get back to work - I would ask unanimous consent that the Finance Committee be discharged of S. 3706, the Americans Want to Work Act, that the Senate then proceed to its immediate consideration, that the bill be read three times, passed, and the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table, that any statements related to the measure appear at the appropriate place in the record as if read."
Senator Stabenow followed through on her commitment to bring S. 3706 onto the Senate floor, and both she and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) spoke eloquently about the need to pass the bill.

Senator LeMieux, however, is from the Party of No, and had this to say:
"Well, respectfully, Mr. President, without knowing how much it's going to cost and how we're going to pay for it, while we are all certainly sympathetic and want to work to make people go back to work - my home state of Florida certainly suffering with very high unemployment - we need to know what it's going to cost, we need to know how we're going to pay for it so we don't put this debt on our children and grandchildren."
The Senator from Florida is right: his state has the nation's fifth highest unemployment rate: 11.7%. He's wrong, however, in calling this bill a "debt" - it's an investment. Remember: one dollar of unemployment benefits turns into $1.61 of GDP growth in one year.

According to Florida's Agency for Workforce Innovation, Florida has 1,084,000 jobless. It has paid Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) to 232,500 beneficiaries and Extended Benefits (EB) to 42,600 beneficiaries. Both the EUC and EB programs were Federally funded and extended.

Which will cost more, Senator? Helping your unemployed today, or helping them after they've been rendered destitute? Is this how you're fighting for "a brighter future for Floridians"?

With that, Senator LeMieux, I object to the Party of No.

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