An Open Letter to Missouri State Senator Jim Lembke
Update - 3/23/2011 - State Senator Lembke and three colleagues are continuing to filibuster the bill. Tim Sampson at the Missouri News Horizon has the story:
For nearly a month, the legislation, which has already passed the House of Representatives and is expected to pass the Senate easily if ever comes up for a vote, has been blocked by an ongoing filibuster orchestrated by four conservative Senators protesting what they see as wasteful government spending.
It's a position that has put Republican Senators Jim Lembke, Rob Schaaf, Brian Nieves and Will Kraus at odds with many, including their own party’s leadership, who failed to break the filibuster before lawmakers adjourned for spring break this week.
Originally posted 3/02/3011
Dear Senator Lembke,
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics will publish its latest numbers over the next few days, but there are two numbers that you and your staff need to be made aware of.
- The first is 3.2 million - that's the total number of job openings across the United States.
- The second is 13.9 million - that's the total number of out of work Americans.
Senator, given the state of the national job market, surely you can see that your suggestion to "get two or three jobs to make ends meet" is an impractical recommendation at best.
Unemployment benefits are a financial lifeline for million of out of work Americans. Nationally, almost 1.8 million men and women have lost access to that lifeline, and it has been estimated that an additional 4 million people will lose access this year.
Would you, Senator, tell firefighters to set their hoses down when they're putting out a house on fire? Would you tell them that "99 gallons of water are enough" if the fire hasn't been extinguished yet?
I don't think you would, Senator. I think you would tell them to fight that fire until it's out. I would ask you to do the same in this instance. Let the Missouri Senate keep fighting until the work is done.